Flood Damage Prevention Tips for Properties in Sarasota, Florida

Flood Damage Prevention Tips for Properties in Sarasota, Florida

September is National Preparedness Month and Americans are encouraged to be prepared for natural disasters or emergencies such as flood, wildfire, hurricane, and power outage. This effort is led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and together with other government agencies.
The National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to remind families and everyone in the United States that the number one natural disaster is neither fire nor earthquake, but a flood, and it can happen anywhere at any time.

How to Prepare for a Flood

Floods can occur in different ways. Some develop slowly during an extended period of rain or in a warming trend following heavy snow. Others, like flash floods, can happen very quickly, without any visible signs of rain. Because of this unpredictability, it’s important to know what to do in order to prepare a property for a flood.

Tip No. 1: Research an Area’s Flood Risk

Research in advance about whether an area is susceptible to flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains online flood maps to show the locations and risk levels in specific geographic areas. Moreover, it is advised to gather more information by asking neighbors how the flood was the last time it hit the locality. Check if they have pictures or any form of information about the flood’s onslaught to gain more prevention tips in advance.

Tip No. 2: Make a Flood Plan for Family

Have a plan B if plan A fails. Establish the emergency actions that need to occur in such a situation, and assign tasks to each individual family member responsible. Train family members as to what to do during flooding, the meeting place, how to survive high waters, and what to do in the event of an evacuation.

Tip No. 3: Get Flood Insurance

This is a requirement for flood-prone area homeowners, which is available to homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program. Visit the website of Floodsmart.gov to get an estimate of the pricing for flood insurance for a geographic location/address. Remember that regular homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage costs.

Tip No. 4: Construct Barriers

Build water-resistant barriers, self-sealing air bricks, and flood-resistant doors, windows and garages around a property that can help stop floodwaters from entering. These resilient barriers are designed to withstand impact by water and debris while simultaneously creating a water-resistant seal on the exterior of the home.

Tip No. 5:  Re-Setup the House Electrical Systems 

This may sound expensive, but as a rule of thumb, all parts of the house’s electrical sockets, switches, and wiring including basements should be elevated at least 12 inches above predicted flood levels.

Tip No. 6: Pre-Arrange the Furniture and Appliances for Flood

Setting up the arrangement of the furniture and appliances to be flood-ready would protect them from damage. By the time the flood occurs, the appliances and furniture would be totally safe and homeowners would still have time for other important things to do.

Tip No. 7: Last Minute Preparations 

Closely monitor the NOAA radio for latest flood updates. Be sure to turn off the power and prepare a kit full of emergency supplies, just in case. Follow the instructions of local authorities if there a need to evacuate.
flood damage

How to Recover From a Flood

If one is fortunate enough to deal with minor flooding, there probably won’t be a need to leave the home. However, if it was major flooding that one has evacuated from, there are certain steps that can be taken. What is important is getting things back to normal as quickly as possible.

Tip No. 1: Ensure Safety First

After a major flood, first, wait for the ‘all clear’ signal from emergency services before going into an affected area. Before entering a property, ask authorities if it is safe to do so. After doing so, try to cope with the damage, clean-up, and recovery.

Tip No. 2: Contact Immediate Family Members

Stay connected with family, friends, and relatives to know about each one’s status. Send text messages rather than calling them; this can be faster than a phone call.

Tip No. 3: Stay Updated

Even though the rain may stop, continue listening to the news while staying alert always for extended rainfalls and flooding. Continue updating with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until the typhoon is confirmed clear.

Tip No. 4: Enter With Caution

Before entering the home, check for structural damage, hazards such as cracks in the foundation, gas leaks, broken power lines, leaking chemicals and wildlife (snake, spiders, and other animals).

Tip No. 5: Keep Things Dry

The next biggest enemy is mold. Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours of saturation on furniture, bedding, and other high moisture-retaining items. Sun-dry and clean these items thoroughly before mold starts to make their infestation. Open your windows and doors to let air inside to help dry out the interior of the property. For best mold remediation, contact a professional.

Tip No. 6: Remove Standing Water

Gradually pump out any standing water or scoop up water with a bucket, while wearing the right protective gear to prevent exposure to floodwaters. This is best done by a professional.

Tip No. 7: Keep in Touch Early with Insurance

If there is still time while floodwater starts pouring into the home, contact the insurance company immediately and let them know that the home has been flooded. Take pictures of the flood-related damage to the home, as this will provide evidence in the event of an insurance claim.

Tip No. 8: Talk to Neighbors

Advise family members to talk about their experiences with friends and neighbors. Sharing is part of the healing process; even the most resilient person may begin to feel stressed, insecure, and maybe even a little frightened. It is essential that those affected by a disaster address their emotional needs.

Tip No. 9: Document the Damage

Always take pictures of the damage, both of the building and its contents, for personal, insurance, and recording purposes. If there’s equipment available, better record a video for better quality. Living within Sarasota, Florida’s flood-zone area? Better make an early reservation with ServiceMaster Restore by Wright at (866) 676-7761; call to inquire about water damage restoration in Sarasota, water damage removal in Sarasota, storm damage repair in Sarasota, and flood damage repair in Sarasota. Storm and water damage emergency can be traumatic. The company’s goal is to get life back to normal as quickly as possible. ServiceMaster by Wright is also serving businesses and homeowners all throughout Bonita Springs, Bradenton, Cape Coral, Englewood, Fort Myers, Longboat Key, Naples, Marco Island, Siesta Key, and Venice, FL. For other details, please visit the website at https://www.servicemasterrestorations.com/.

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