How to Be Better Prepared For Heavy Rains or Flooding

Given the appropriate precautions, it’s possible to wait out a nasty weather in relative comfort and security.

With Calgary
s and Torontos floods behind us, its time to ask yourself how can you make sure youre ready next time a natural disaster strikes?

It’s actually not difficult — or even that expensive. It just takes a bit of foresight. Follow our tips and you will be as prepared as can be.

1. Put a disaster kit together. A basic one should include, at the very least, nonperishable food items and water for your entire family to last 72 hours, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and batteries. Also be sure to keep some cash on hand in case you can't access a bank or ATM. We recommend you go one step further and get these supplies as well.

2. Also, to ensure you can stay tuned, include a battery-operated radio. The extra precautious among you may want to get a portable generator (Home Depot has a useful guide on choosing one) or at least a battery back-up system for your computer (this one has a decent price as well as good reviews).

Incidentally, it’s not necessarily true that landlines will continue to work even while the power’s out. While the lines themselves will work, most phones sold today require AC power. Get a plain, basic phone if you can — older models use the same power that comes from the POTS line (Plain Old Telephone Service), so they will remain operational even if you have no AC power. However, if you have a computer and a VOIP line that are connected to a battery back-up system, then you could continue to use your VOIP phone (and your internet ) for a bit longer.

3. The most important consideration is ensuring your home is well equipped to handle heavy rains, as homeowner insurance will only cover certain damage cause by natural disasters such as flooding. This means it’s particularly important to reduce the chances of flood damage to your home and ensure your home is properly maintained. Water damaged caused by sudden heavy rains can be avoided by:

  • Installing flood shields on basement windows
  • Cleaning gutters and extending downspouts to ensure the rainwater flows away from your home
  • In older homes, ensure you have a properly installed backflow valve on basement floor drains, washing machine drains, toilets and sink drains to prevent backup in your home (backflow valves are designed to close automatically when it detects water attempting to enter your home from the sewer)

4. Locate the storm sewer on the road — contact your municipality if it’s plugged with leaves

5. In cases other than floods, make sure you know ahead of time what your insurance does cover.

6. Taking photos or video of the contents of every room is a good idea, as is keeping receipts for valuable items.

Were you affected during the recent flood? Has your home ever suffered major damages? Share your tips or comments below or on our Facebook page