As floods become more frequent and severe with climate change, protecting your home becomes even more crucial. Make sure you’re prepared for the worst. Although it is impossible to truly, completely flood-proof your home against any and all potential floods, steps can be taken to minimize damage. And with one month still remaining in the 2018 Hurricane Season, there’s no telling what could happen in the coming weeks.

Backstops and Barriers

Install a sewage water backstop. Cities that deal with persistent stormwater flooding have various programs to fund the installation of backflow prevention devices that keep overtaxed sewer mains from backing up. If your drains back up after heavy rains, consider installing one of these devices with help from a plumber.

Place temporary flood barriers around your home to divert flood waters from entering. They will create an island inside as the flood waters rush outside, and divert massive quantities of flood water around a home.

Landscaping

Change your landscaping to porous outdoor surfaces to help water seep into the ground instead of streaming toward your home. Digging depressions known as swales to channel stormwater runoff away from your house, converting concrete or asphalt driveways to gravel or brick, and using absorbent mulch can help manage heavy rain and reduce potential flood damage. Placing a rain barrel beneath a gutter downspout will allay flooding  and reduce pollution of local waterways.

Flood Insurance

Flood damage can range from the somewhat manageable, to the full-scale destruction of a home. Even relatively minor damage, like a wrecked hot water heater, can cost thousands of dollars to repair. But homeowners can mitigate the damage with proper insurance.

It is important to understand that flood coverage is separate from homeowners insurance, and flooding-related damage will not be covered under a standard home policy.

Flood insurance is needed for those with a federally backed mortgage who lives in a flood zone. People in high-risk areas often assume that government-issued disaster assistance will cover the cost of damage from a flood. Emergency funds are rarely adequate, and standard insurance policies don’t cover water damage caused by extreme weather. Be sure to have at least enough flood insurance to cover the contents of your home.

Sealing Openings

Typically, the first point of entry for flood water is your drainage system. The lower the drain, the more susceptible it will be to backing up. Positive-type drain plugs are available for a variety of drains both large and small. Keep these on hand at all times during the flood season.

Ground floor windows, crawlspaces, patio doors and basement walls must be sealed for effective flood proofing. Flood-proof windows are available to be fitted on regular windows that make them water tight. Flood-proof doors will do the same for patio doors.

Requesting Change

Even with proof of climate change, government agencies still look to the past to predict future flooding. Contact your community emergency management office or a local environmental group to support more sustainable development, including public landscapes with water-permeable surfaces and smarter stormwater infrastructure. Collective efforts will make your community more resilient.

About Thayer Innes and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agencies

At Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency, we strive to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to support Ann Arbor homeowners. Our homeowners’ policies can be tailored to meet your specific risk exposures and provides much more coverage than a traditional policy, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 395-6316.

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