Flood Awareness Week Flood Safety Tips
Last July, Lake County experienced record flooding, resulting in flood damage to about 3,500 homes. In honor of Flood Awareness Week (March 12-16), and because spring is fast approaching, everyone should take some time to review flood safety information so they are better prepared if flooding occurs.
Property Protection Measures
There are many flood damage reduction measures you can take if your property is susceptible to flooding:
• Watertight seals can be applied to brick and block walls to protect against low level flooding.
• Utilities, such as heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and other major appliances, can be elevated to higher floors in the structure or on raised platforms.
• Temporary measures such as moving furniture and other valuables to higher floors or sandbagging exterior openings will also help.
Your safety is important. Following these guidelines can help you stay safe during a flood:
• Listen to a radio or television for information
• Do not drive through a flooded area
• Do not walk through flowing water
• Stay away from power lines and electrical wires
• Be alert to gas leaks
• Keep children away from the floodwaters, ditches, culverts, and storm drains
• Clean everything that has been wet
• Do not use gas engines, such as generators or charcoal fires indoors during power outages
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional flood related safety tips.
Flood Recovery Resources
Now is the perfect time to contact your insurance agent to go over your insurance coverage and policy. Keep in mind, flood insurance needs to have been purchased 30 days prior to a flood event to use.
If your home is damaged during a flood, contact your insurance company to determine your coverage and start the claim process. You may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you can make repairs or rebuild. To help you cover the costs of meeting those requirements, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage to flood insurance policy holders. Qualified homeowners can receive up to $30,000 to help cover the cost of mitigation measures that will reduce flooding. Check out the ICC fact sheet for more information.
The Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) offers a Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program, which is a highly cost-effective flood reduction tool because buying and removing flood-prone structures ensure they are not damaged by future floods.
Visit the SMC website for additional flood information and to learn more about the flood programs offered.