In Florida we talk a lot about best hurricane practices, but what are some of the best hurricane practices for a flood? Flood is a major concern in Florida and even a minor hurricane can deliver massive flooding.
So how do we protect ourselves from a flood? What are the best hurricane practices when it comes to their potential flood risk?
Why Best Hurricane Practices Must Include Flood Preparation
The best hurricane practices include through and early preparation. Good preparation must include preparation for flood. Florida is a low lying peninsula with great flood risk.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency official has recently said, “Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.” And in Florida, we get a lot of rain during hurricane season.
Also, some of Florida’s most highly developed cities are surrounded by water. Consider Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. These metropolitan cities are flanked on all sides by water – the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and the slowest moving river in the world – the Florida Everglades.
This is not to mention the countless rivers, creeks and lakes and ponds. Water is everywhere in the Sunshine State. Florida residents’ best hurricane practices include a flood plan.
Best Hurricane Practices: Prepare for Flood Step by Step
First things first: Talk to your family about preparing for flood as part of your best hurricane practices. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued. Including this discussion in your best hurricane practices can help ease fear and anxiety about an emergency,
Ensure you have communication: During a weather emergency such as flood, it is vital to have a means of communication. You must be able to hear emergency broadcasts as they are issued. Consider purchasing a weather radio that includes broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Know your local waterways: Be familiar with local waterways such as rivers, creeks and ponds. Keep tabs on their level and know which flood easily. Also, note street flooding in your area so you can plan routes to avoid flooded streets if you must evacuate.
Best Hurricane Practices to Protect Your Home from Flood Damage
As flood continues to be a major risk for Florida, there are some home improvements you can take to help protect yourself from a flood. Some Florida homeowners that have had several major flood claims are taking care advantage of government grants to reconstruct their homes above flood level.
Still, there are many other steps homeowners can take as part of best hurricane practices to protect themselves from a flood.
Raise your major appliances above ground level: This could include your you water heater, air conditioning system, and electrical panels. You may wish to consult a professional to complete this work, but the precautions would help protect those items from expensive flood damage
Close drains: If you don’t want to install special valves in your plumbing that will prevent flood water from backing up into your drains, you can always use corks or shower stoppers. Just make sure you remember to take this important step as part of your best hurricane practices.
While you’re at it – go ahead and fill your sinks and bathtubs with tap water. This water isn’t for drinking or bathing babies, but it can be used to clean floors and flush toilets.
Use sandbags: Sandbags should be part of your best hurricane practices to prepare for a flood. Prepare your sandbags well in advance of a flood warning. Listen to your local news channel as some communities will give away free sandbags if there is a flood warning.
Know Your Zones for Best Hurricane Practices
Every Florida resident has two zones they should be familiar with – one zone has to do with your flood risk and the other is your evacuation zone.
Knowing whether you are in a special flood hazard area will help you determine the precautions to take for your best hurricane practices.
It is important to keep in mind that no matter what flood zone your home is in, there is a flood risk.
Flooding is defined as rising water and can happen at any time. So, know where you are on the flood maps, and protect your home from a flood.
If you are interested in looking at your flood zone, you can check out an interactive flood map. Just enter an address, landmark or a zip code to see what flood zone you are in.
The other zone that every Florida resident must know as part of their hurricane best practices is their evacuation zone. As a flood or hurricane approaches, state emergency officials may order evacuations. These are determined by zones. Best hurricane practices must include knowing your zone and your evacuation route. Make sure every member of your family has this information.
Also, if you are called to evacuate, do so early. Public hurricane shelters such as at schools, fill up quickly, so if your hurricane best practices include evacuating to a shelter, execute that plan as early as possible.
Best Hurricane Practices: Purchase Flood Insurance
If you live in Florida, you have flood risk. Part of your hurricane best practices is to protect yourself from flooding.
Most homeowner policies don’t include coverage for flood, and sometimes your mortgage company won’t require it if you are not in a high-risk area. Does that mean you don’t need flood insurance? Not at all. More than 20 percent of flood claims come from homes outside of high-risk areas.
Flood insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. Some homeowner insurance companies can add it to your policy as an endorsement. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation provides information on how Florida residents can get flood insurance. the most important of your best hurricane practices
Preparing for Flood is One of the Best Hurricane Practices
Florida homeowners must include a flood plan among their hurricane plans. Flooding can be sudden and damaging. Be prepared and stay safe.