How to Prepare Your Home for an Upcoming Local Flood

Local Flood

Homeowners, beware. A local flood is more hazardous than you may think.

In fact, 14.6 million American homes are at risk for local flood damage. Also, 98% of the basements in American residential properties experience some kind of water damage.

The typical homeowner’s insurance claim is $11,098 for water damage. Across the country, however, water damage for all households costs as much as $20 billion per year.

What are you doing to protect your residential property? There are plenty of ways to prepare your home to minimize the potential impact.

Here is what you can do right now to protect your property.

Types of Floods

First, it is important to understand that not every flood is the same. When you hear the word “flood,” you probably link this term to a lot of rain, so much that the water has nowhere to go, so it collects and creates damage.

Yes, this happens, but it is not always the case. There are a few types of floods that can occur, such as:

  • Coastal flood
  • Flash flood
  • Groundwater flood
  • River flood
  • Sewage flood

For some types of floods, a meteorologist can give you a fair warning. Other times, you have no warning.

Get Flood Insurance

Because a local flood can strike without warning, a smart homeowner with a rental property will choose good insurance for protection.

You can find out more here.

Prepare Your Residential Property

You can start by waterproofing your basement and all entrances to your residential property’s basement. Clear the gutters and storm drains.

The slope of your residential property should steer the water away from your home, including keeping water flowing away from window wells and other entrances to the basement.

Install Sump Pumps

They can power these with a battery, or with an existing power supply, or it can be a combination of both. We recommend you get both.

When floodwaters occur from powerful storms, many times this means that there could be a power outage for days. Sometimes, you could be without power for weeks.

For this reason, your sump pump should be able to run with backup batteries or with the best power generator on the market.

Raise the Electrical System

Unfortunately, this is most likely to experience damage during a local flood. That is why many smart homeowners will elevate the components of their electrical system, including:

  • Circuit breaker boxes
  • The property’s wiring
  • Outlets
  • Switches

Also, when you raise your electrical system prior to experiencing a local flood, you will have the opportunity for a faster recovery after a flood hits.

Elevate Your Water Heater

Imagine only having cold water for days or weeks. Many American homes have a water heater at the ground level.

It can be in a utility closet or garage, which makes it prone to flood damage.

You can fix this in a few ways. You could purchase a water heater stand, which will elevate it, or you could install a concrete pier, too. Water heaters are expensive, so it pays to protect them.

Install a Backflow Valve

A dishwasher, a washing machine, sinks, and toilets can be common ways you discover you are experiencing a local flood.

The best prevention method for keeping contaminated water away and from entering the clean water supply is by installing reverse flow valves.


This largely depends on if you have fair warning, and if you do, it can be expensive. Sandbags will not provide total protection, but they divert water, preventing it from entering your residential property.

It is a time-consuming process. Not only that, but you need two people to do it at the very least.

Before you place them, they should be half full of sand. Also, use sandbags alongside plastic sheeting and sump pumps.

After a local flood, the sandbags will be waterlogged and likely contaminated. Have a plan in place for how you can dispose of them.

Place an Anchor

Particularly for an oil tank or propane tank, you do not want these to be washed away by flood waters.

Anchor them to the ground firmly.

Evacuating With Little Warning

If you know a local flood is imminent, and you must evacuate, consider how much time you have left to do so.

If you have any time at all to do quick preparations, even just a little time, do the following things to protect your residential property.

Elevate Important Items

Anything that has significant value, in terms of dollars or in terms of sentiments, you want to place on the second floor or in an attic if you have one. If you have a one-story residential property, place them on countertops or at the top of cabinets.

Unplug and Shut Off

You should unplug anything that you can from outlets such as your electronic devices and appliances. Any electronic device and appliance you can elevate, do your best to elevate it before you evacuate.

Turn off anything you can, including your water supply, gas line, and electricity if possible.

Local Flood Protection

A part of homeownership means handling the tough stuff. Your residential property is a valuable investment, so you want to take as many precautionary measures as you can. You want to protect your home from a local flood before it happens.

Anytime life hands you something unexpected, we have the advice to help you get through it. Don’t walk away, keep clicking for more great tips that will save you time, energy, and money!

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BSV Staff

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