Outside in the Yard
  • Evaluate and consider where the water flows in and around your house on a rainy day. Redirect it away from your foundation by making sure your gutters, downspouts and splash blocks (trays) are moving water away, not towards, the foundation.
  • Make sure all water flow mechanisms (gutters, downspouts, splash blocks) are clear of debris and properly aligned to direct water away from your home.
  • Check culverts and make sure that they are clear of yard debris so storm drains can handle water flow. Properly dispose of yard waste so that it does not become windborne debris.
  • Modify your landscape with berms to help direct water flow away from your home.
  • Sandbags can redirect stormwater and debris flow away from homes and other structures if they are properly filled, placed, and maintained. Remember to follow these steps so they do not fail to protect your home.
    • Fill sandbags one-half full.
    • Use sand if readily available, otherwise, use local soil.
    • Fold the top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top.
    • Take care in stacking sandbags by limiting placement to three layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are placed in a pyramid.
    • Tamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer.
    • Clear a path between buildings for debris flow.
    • Lay a plastic sheet in between the building and the bags to control the flow and prevent water from seeping through openings like sliding glass doors.
    • Sandbags will not seal out water.
    • Sandbags deteriorate when exposed to continued wetting and drying for several months. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
    • Sandbags are for small water flow protection – up to two feet. Protection from larger flow requires a more permanent flood prevention system.
    • Wet sandbags are very heavy, and caution should be used to avoid injury.
    • NOTE: Consult your local environmental protection department before disposing of used sandbags. Sandbags exposed to contaminated floodwaters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling.
  • As possible, elevate any outside appliances on platforms to prevent damage, but only do so if a licensed professional is available to assist.
Inside Your Home
  • Inspect your first floor for items that can be moved to higher floors or spaces. For example, roll up area rugs and place them upstairs or on counters to keep them dry.
  • Unplug, bag, and move electronics to higher ground. Anything that can be bagged in sealable plastic bags and moved to a higher location can be potentially spared.
  • Place appliances like washers and dryers on bases or concrete blocks to elevate them and prevent damage.
  • In the average home, 2” of water can cause over $26,000 in damage and 4” can cause $40,000 in damage. Use this floodsmart.gov calculator widget to learn more. (https://www.floodsmart.gov/costOfFlooding/index.html)
In the Garage
  • If you have more than one vehicle, move one to a protected, higher location where you have permission to park. Be sure to do so before the storm arrives to avoid driving on flooded roadways.
Plan for Rapid Clean-Up
  • Purchase clean-up supplies now, including, buckets, bleach or bleach substitute, mops, plastic sheeting, gloves, masks, and fans.
  • You can reduce the likelihood of mold formation in your home if you have a plan to dry it out quickly.
  • Record the telephone number and email address for water removal companies in your area.
  • Buy flood insurance no matter where you live. Where it rains, it can flood.
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