SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The City of Savannah has always been prone to flood hazards for years and is the most common and costly disaster in the U.S.
However, there are many ways to reduce your home’s risk of flooding without breaking the bank.
As you begin to think about which might be the best for you and your home, consider following this very important first step: Insure Your Property.
Even if your home is in a low- or moderate-risk flood zone, purchasing a flood insurance policy is highly recommended. It provides you with financial protection from a flood event. Flood damage isn’t covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, and just a few inches of floodwater can end up costing thousands of dollars in repairs.
Tips for outside the home:
-Maintain proper water runoff and drainage.
-Clean and maintain gutters, downspouts, and splash pads so that rainwater from your roof flows easily away from your home.
-Make sure any nearby drainage ditches or storm drains are clear of debris and functioning properly.
-Install a rain barrel that can collect and store rainwater for uses such as watering the lawn and gardens or washing the car. These can be purchased at some local home improvement stores.
-Deploy temporary flood barriers, such as sandbags.
Tips for inside the home:
-Close any foundation cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps completely. These items can be purchased at some local home improvement stores.
-Protect your valuable possessions by moving important documents and other valuable or sentimental items to a safer location, well above the potential flood elevation and/or inside watertight containers.
-Replace wooden doors and window frames with metal or other flood-resistant options.
If your home begins to flood, these preventative steps might help:
If a storm is imminent, or flooding has already started, follow these steps to minimize flooding and water damage to your property:
- Shut off your electricity at the breaker panel, if flood water is close to reaching your electrical system.
- If it’s not raining, open windows to allow air flow through your home.
- Turn on your sump pump or use a shop vacuum to remove water as quickly as possible.
- Photograph or videotape any flooding to document and defend your claim with your flood insurance provider.