No matter how much control you think you have over your life, there are certain things even the most powerful individuals have no control over. Unexpected emergencies can appear when you least expect them, and you must react calmly and from a place of knowledge and forethought to bypass the worst consequences. As the climate worldwide becomes less predictable and natural disasters more common, preparation is critical. Severe flooding is a sometimes unstoppable force of nature. If you live in an area prone to floods, it’s essential to be prepared.
If your home is at risk of flooding, you must act quickly and decisively to protect your family and property. Adequate preparation can be lifesaving and reduce the costs of water damage to your property.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for a flood and be proactive in protecting your home and family.
Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit
As with any emergency, you can never fully predict what will happen during a flooding event. Because of the unpredictability, you need to prepare for the worst. Creating a comprehensive emergency supply kit is a crucial step.
Your emergency supply kit should have enough nonperishable food and bottled water for your family to last up to two weeks. That may sound like overkill, but the Red Cross recommends at least that amount for a survival kit. Ample supplies will help you ride out the flood if you get stuck at home.
Similarly, you should have battery-powered flashlights, lanterns, and plenty of blankets in case the power goes out. Also, stock up on hygiene products, extra batteries, and a first aid kit.
Create a Safety Plan with Your Family
When flooding hits, chaos often follows. You need a safety plan to ensure your family knows what actions to take. If you act as one well-coordinated unit, you can reduce the risk of injury or being separated in a panic.
Your safety plan should include an evacuation strategy with an agreed-upon meeting point, contact information for people to call during an emergency, and what to do if flooding begins in your home. Think about the details. For example, if you have pets or young children, whose responsibility is it to retrieve them and get them to safety?
Creating a safety plan is an investment in the health and security of your family in the future.
Make Sure Your Home is Flood-Safe
You can prepare the physical structure of your home for flooding to minimize the damage and cost of repairs. Some preparation requires sizeable financial investment and time, and others serve as last-ditch efforts to stave off the worst effects of flooding.
Having your home inspected by a professional may be a worthwhile investment if you live in a flood-prone area. They may recommend that you raise certain appliances, like the furnace, water heater, and electric panel, to floors of your home that are less likely to flood. You could install check values in your plumbing system to prevent flood water from getting into the drains of your home. Additionally, you could waterproof your basement to minimize damage and loss during a flood.
You can take smaller actions to protect your home if a flood is imminent. For example, you can place sandbags along garages, doors, and any entry point into your home, hindering the water’s ability to breach the barrier. Some municipalities will even offer sandbags to residents free of charge if a flood is forecasted.
Invest in Home Backup Power System
Few things are worse than losing power during a flood. Without access to electricity, day-to-day life—not to mention cleanup and recovery efforts—will be even more arduous. If you live in a flood zone, investing in a home backup power system is a necessary precaution. The DELTA Solar Generators are an example of a portable home backup power system that is easy to use and allows you to generate clean, renewable energy from anywhere the sun shines — even during a flood.
The DELTA Pro Portable Power Station can power virtually anything. It comes with 3.6kWh capacity out of the box (expandable to 25kWh) and provides 3600-7200W of AC output. The DELTA Pro is the workhorse of EcoFlow’s whole home backup power solution and smart home ecosystem.
If you don’t have the budget or aren’t ready to invest in a home solar system, check if you are eligible for any tax breaks or incentives that can help make the transition to renewable power less expensive. If solar still isn’t for you, you can still have reliable home backup power with a portable power station. If a flood causes your on-grid electricity to go out, you can safely utilize options like the DELTA Portable Power Stations to charge devices, power appliances, and keep the recovery process on track. Be sure to use your generator or power station in a dry area of your home to avoid water damage to the battery. EcoFlow’s solar panels are waterproof. As long as they’re properly secured, you don’t need to worry about them getting wet.
Consider Flood Insurance
Home insurance is standard and required in most places. But not all home insurance covers damage from flooding. That’s where dedicated flood insurance comes in to cover and reimburse for damages to your property during a flood.
In some places, flood insurance is a requirement due to the region’s high level of risk. Check to see if you qualify for the National Flood Insurance Program. In high-risk areas, there’s a 1 in 4 chance of flooding sometime during a 30-year mortgage, so investing in insurance is likely to pay off depending on where you live.
Document and Safely Store Valuables
If you opt for flood insurance, the companies often make you jump through myriad hoops before reimbursing you for lost or damaged property. That’s why it’s essential to document the items in your home that hold value.
Take pictures of furniture, appliances, devices, and valuable belongings. Make a list of these items, including the brand, cost, and value. If you file a claim with your insurance company, this documentation can save you a massive headache and increase the likelihood of recovering the cost of your belongings.
Additionally, stash all critical documents and files in a location safe from water damage: seal passports, birth certificates, money, and family photos in airtight bags or bins. Move essential items to a secure location, such as an upper level, an attic, a tall closet shelf in the closet, or outside the home, such as in a bank vault or safety deposit boxes. Take pictures of all documents and store them in the cloud in case something gets lost in the flood. Having copies of your essential documents makes replacing them significantly more straightforward.
Educating yourself about the dangers of flooding and being prepared are the most vital actions you can take to protect your family and your property. During a flood, try to ensure you have access to cellular data or at least a transistor radio, and tune in frequently for warnings and updates.
When it comes to reliable home backup power, no one prepares you to ride out a flood better than EcoFlow. Shop our selection of solar generators and portable power stations, and protect yourself from power outages caused by floods.