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What Can You Do If Your House is in a Flood Plain?

Aug 5, 2008
It is important to find out if your home is located in a flood plain if you do not know this already. If it is in a flood plain, your home has a higher risk for flooding from a natural disaster. It is very important that you purchase a flood insurance policy for your home. This may be more expensive if you live in a flood plain but it will be worth the cost of the policy if your home is ever damaged by a flood. There are some other precautions that you can take to help keep flood damage to a minimum if flooding does occur to your home.

The furnace, central air conditioning unit, venting, and hot water heater are usually located in the basement or lower level of a house. Having them moved to an upper level or the attic of your home will greatly lessen the likelihood of them being severely damaged by flood water. These are very expensive to replace so it is a good investment to have them moved up so you won't have to buy new ones after a flood. Make sure you hire licensed professionals to do this work. Check references before you pick a company to do the job.

If it is not possible to raise the heating and cooling systems another precaution that you can take is to build a floodwall around the furnace, air conditioning unit, and the hot water heater. These walls should be made out of cement of masonry blocks. The floodwall should be built high enough and strong enough to withstand flood water and should be made by a licensed professional.

Another way you can help prevent serious flood damage to your home is to raise the electrical outlets throughout your home higher up on the walls of your home. If flood waters are not too high this will keep your wiring from being damaged. This rewiring is a good precaution to take if your house is on a flood plain.

It would be wise to make sure you have a working sump pump in your crawl space or basement if you live in a flood plain. A sump pump will activate as soon as water starts to collect and will pump it out lessening any water damage. It is important to have a battery operated back up for your sump pump so if the power goes out the pump will still operate. Keep your gutters and downspouts in good repair as well. These precautions can prevent or lessen water damage from a flood.

When your home is located on a flood plain you should be certain to have an emergency flood kit with bottled water, flashlights and batteries, canned food and an opener, blankets, clothes, and a battery powered radio. Keep this in a convenient location. You should also work out an escape plan and practice it with your family so you will all know what to do should an emergency arise.
About the Author
Gayelord Nash is a regular contributor and shares what he knows about fire damage and the secondary water damage restoration that follows it.
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