It doesn’t always rain in Texas, but as they say, when it rains, it pours. Spring and summer thunderstorms can often offer some much-needed relief from the heat, but can also come with their own downfalls. Check out the tips below for how to prepare for heavy rain, how to prevent flooding and how to deal with the aftermath of a big storm.
The following are 16 tips for preventing flooding:
Part of preparing for flooding is knowing what you are going to be facing at home. There now existing apps and weather alerts that homeowners can sign up for to know when bad weather is coming your way. As incoming storms approach, be sure to stay on top of the updates so that you can minimize the risk. Abide by the instructions that the alerts issue, especially in the event that they notify you to evacuate.
Evacuation Routes and Shelters
There are times when the dangers presented by flooding are too significant to remain at home. If flooding is the anticipated result of heavy rain, it is important that individuals are able to leave until conditions have improved. This may not require a complete evacuation, but there is a chance that people will have to retreat to shelter locations. Before an impending storm, make sure you learn your area’s evacuation routes should you have to leave or escape to a nearby safe zone.
Gather Necessary Supplies
In the event that you are preparing to remain within your home, it is important that you are equipped with the supplies necessary to make it through the storm. Stock up on items such as bottled water, food, and basic first aid supplies. There is a possibility that you will lose power so emergency equipment like flashlights and duct tape will also be useful to keep in your home. Be sure to listen in on updates on the situation so that you have enough to last you through the stretch.
Flood Preparedness Plan
Especially for those with families, it is important to make sure that you and your loved ones are all on the same page in the event your area experiences flooding. In readying the home and family for the possibility, one tool to put together is a flood preparedness plan. The details that should be included in this are where to go in your home in the event of flooding, where vital supplies are throughout your house, and who to call in the aftermath with their emergency numbers included.
Plan For Your Pet
If you know a bad storm is coming, make sure your pet gets a good amount of exercise before the storm hits. It is also important to be mindful of where your animal sleeps as it relates to those areas of the house that can be easily flooded, like the basement. In the event your pet stays down in that area, make sure they get moved before it starts raining. Pets present a particular danger when it comes to the use of candles so be sure to rely on flashlights instead.
Clean The Gutters
Over time the gutters get clogged with debris like leaves or twigs which impede the flow of water and can present the risk of gutters overflowing or the growth of mold. Even more dangerous for the home is the damage that can be done to roofs, floors, and walls by gutters that have become backed up. In order to prevent this, gutters and other drainage methods must be kept clean. This is something to do progressively throughout the year, even without an encroaching storm, which will prove particularly beneficial for homes that are in close proximity to trees.
Get a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier works by taking in air and blowing it out, extracting and collecting the moisture into a tank that can later be dumped. In the event of flooding, dehumidifiers can aid in minimizing the damage that can be done by flooding as they can pull the moisture from the air and aid in drying out flood-affected homes to reduce the effects of water damage. In helping to prevent that, individuals should invest in a dehumidifier to serve as an interim solution for cleaning up the water that makes its way into homes.
Research How to Minimize Damage
In preventing significant damage from occurring to your house, individuals should research how to keep rainwater away from their properties. If there are places in your yard where water is easily caught or overflows, you can make modifications before the damage is done. This can involve moving any hazardous materials from lower locations up or anchoring things to the floor. If you’re experiencing water flow issues, try contacting your local government for help as some municipalities have resources available to help with these kinds of issues.
Consider New Doors
Old doors with bad seals do little to nothing in stopping water from entering your home, which can prove to be devastating for houses that undergo flooding. Although they can be pricey, replacing an old door with a new one can provide a solution to the problem. Though the cost may deter some people from considering this as a viable method for preventing flood damage, it will likely be cheaper than the expense that comes from dealing with water damage.
Address Roof Leaks
Though some may be willing to wait in order to address roof leaks, it is important that repairs are made immediately. The damage caused by leaky roofs can result in the growth of mold and mildew, create a fire hazard from the exposure of water to electrical devices or wiring, as well as cause structural damage to the home. Because of these glaring dangers, the longer it takes to address, the more damage that will be done and the greater the cost you will incur to fix it. The good news is that fixing a leaky roof can be done by homeowners themselves or be left to a professional.
Trim your trees
Tree trimming and removal can be expensive but may be necessary to prevent damage to your home. During heavy rain, the ground becomes saturated with water which can cause big trees to topple. The downfall can also result in branches or other debris from the trees falling onto your home. Though the degree of damage done to your house can vary, it can be extensive, and possibly even displace you.
If you’re prepared, there is not much you should have to leave the house for. Because of this, one of the best things you can do is remain inside. This will help to keep you and your family safe but also will keep you on-site in case any water starts coming into the house. In the event of that, you may have to make some quick adjustments in order to minimize the subsequent damage to your home.
Keep An Eye On The Forecast
Just as important as keeping up with weather notifications before heavy rainfall is following the forecast as things are underway. This will allow you to stay on top of the changes in the conditions outside of your home and adjust your location in the house as things play out. In the event the situation is beginning to get worse, it could also allow you the opportunity to evacuate if it is deemed that is the best response to the situation.
Know The Safe Spots
Part of persevering through flooding is identifying the safe spots in your home. If you know you have trees that could possibly go down, or doors that could leak, stay away from them. If you are in standing water, avoid electrical equipment. Safe spots for your family should also be designated so that your loved ones know where to go in the event water makes its way into the home. If water is rising outside of your house around your automobile and other belongings, it is vital that you leave them and remain where you are.
Call your insurance agent
As one of the most common natural disasters in the country, having insurance in the event of a flood is one way to protect yourself. If your home is damaged from heavy rain, call your insurance agent. They will be able to help you understand what to do if your house floods and how to proceed. If you are a renter, make sure you contact your landlord as well. For your records, you should also take photos of the damage.
Start cleaning up
If your home has been damaged by a flood and water remains in your house, try and get as much of it out as possible. Enlist the aid of dehumidifiers and even use buckets if needed. As you go about clearing it out, make sure to disinfect the areas where water sat, especially on soft surfaces. Keep an eye out following the removal of the water to spot and prevent the growth and spread of any mold.