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Determining Your Flooding Risk
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Water damage will be a part of pretty much every homeowner's life at some point of another. In spite of all the products on the market and promises made by various companies, there is actually very little that one can do to wholly prevent water damage from occurring. If enough water comes in, your home is going to suffer some measure of water damage. If you have a basement, it becomes a virtual certainty, with 98% of all basements destined for water damage at some point.
What You Can Do
What you can do as a homeowner, though, is take steps designed to minimize the threat. For starters, if there are any creeks or rivers located near your property, find out if they have been prone to flooding in the past as well as the crest levels each one has reached.
Examine your home's elevation. Homes located in low-lying areas are obviously at considerably more flood risk than those located in higher elevations.
In the same vein, determine if you are located on a flood zone or flood plain. If so, a trip to your local Emergency Management office can tell you the flood history for the region. History establishes patterns, and careful examination of available data will help you determine just how much water you may end up dealing with if a flood does occur.
Of course, it should be noted that history can throw a curveball from time to time. For example, the 2009 flooding in Atlanta, Georgia, which left much of the metro area underwater; an event that was in no way precipitated or predictable as a result of past events.
The Biggest Flood Risk Area
Obviously, the lowest level of your home or business will be a target for flood damage (unless, of course, the flooding is the result of an upper level pipe burst). Electrical devices and valuable items should be relocated to a higher floor to minimize property damage. Shelving and crating may be used to elevate items off the floor to protect them from flowing water, and electrical wiring, outlets, and boxes may be relocated to higher levels to avoid exposure to water.
What the NFIP Is and Does
You can also check into seeing if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP was founded by the federal government to provide flood coverage for flood-prone neighborhoods, as well as working with FEMA to help communities bring their flood safety measures up to proper standards. Too many homeowners neglect this vital step, believing that they will be covered by disaster relief in the event of a flood. While this may be true, it is also predicated on whether or not the area is declared a disaster, and even then, monetary relief only comes in the form of low-interest loans that will have to be paid back. Better to pay a small premium now as opposed to getting socked for thousands of dollars in loan payments later.
Your local water damage restoration company can also be of invaluable assistance when it comes to determining your flooding or other water damage threat.
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