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Getting your home prepared for flooding

STATEWIDE (WGME) -- With the rising possibility of flooding, there are some safety tips you may find helpful.

According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, all it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents.

In advance of possible flooding, homeowners should make sure critical areas like storm drains, culverts gutters and downspouts are not blocked.

Here is more information about being prepared for flooding before, during and after:

Before the Flood

  1. All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents.
  2. Inspect critical areas such as storm drains, culverts, berms, gutters and downspouts to identify potential blockage to proper flow of water away from your home.
  3. Place important papers (birth/marriage certificates, passports, bank and insurance information) in a watertight container and keep them close.
  4. Take photographs or videos to create an inventory of your personal possessions and keep the camera card handy in case of evacuation. Dont forget to open closets and drawers to document all of your belongings as they will become part of any potential insurance claim.
  5. Identify and move electronics and other expensive items and elevate if possible to keep them dry.

During the Flood

  1. Stay away from flood-prone areas, including dips, low spots, valleys, ditches, washes, etc.
  2. Avoid flooded areas or those with rapid water flow. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet.
  3. Dont allow children to play near high water, storm drains or ditches. Hidden dangers could lie beneath the water.
  4. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads.  Water only one foot deep can float most automobiles.
  5. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flooded roads.

After the Flood

  1. Take photographs of damage throughout the building and around the property. Assess stability of plaster and drywall. Bulging or swelling ceilings indicate damage. Press upward on drywall ceilings. If nail heads appear, drywall will need to be re-nailed but can be saved.
  2. Empty basement water at a rate of about one-third per day to avoid structural damage to foundation by rapid pressure change.
  3. Clean and disinfect heating, air conditioning and ventilation ducts before use to avoid spread of airborne germs and mold spores. Use fans and sunlight to dry out interior spaces.
  4. Remove all wet carpets, curtains and fabrics. Allow to air dry completely.