Winter flood preparedness actions urged for homeowners and property owners
Following last winter’s epic storms, snow and rainfall various government office are urging homeowners and property owners to take steps to prepare for possible flooding this winter. Rainfall is predicted for this coming weekend and is a reminder to be prepared for may happen this winter.
The state of California and the city of Los Angeles Sanitation Department suggest the following:
- Clean and repair gutters, downspouts and roofs – Clogged rain gutters can cause rainwater to backup and damage your roof and house. Look for damaged shingles on your roof that could blow away or create a leak in your home. Repair your roof as needed before the rains arrive. Roof debris has the potential to make its way into storm drains and local waterways.
- Harvest the rain – Purchase a rain barrel and get it set up before the rains begin. Rainwater is a valuable resource! Rain barrels collect rainwater from hard surfaces like roofs and are a low-cost way to preserve rainwater runoff.
- Mulch your garden – Or use some other type of organic compost to ensure that your plants do not over-saturate and absorb that extra water flowing through your yard during heavy storms. Some cities provide free mulch to their residents.
- Maintain your car – Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition and tire treads are at the proper depth. Check all your automotive fluids, making sure that your car isn’t leaking oil or antifreeze onto your driveway or the street. Leaking car fluids will find their way to local rivers and creeks when it begins to rain and are hazardous.
- Keep neighborhood storm drains clear – Pick up trash you see around your neighborhood. If you see a clogged catch basin, report it to the city or your water district so that it can be cleaned before the storms arrive. This can help prevent street flooding as well as stop litter from reaching rivers and creeks.
- Keep flood-fighting materials on hand – If your property is prone to flooding have sandbags, plastic sheeting, shovels, personnel rain gear and other tools and materials readily available.
- Store emergency kits at work, home and in your car. Periodically check supplies and refresh water, food, batteries and first aid items when needed. Make sure you have a sturdy pair of extra shoes or boots in each car.
- Establish a family communication plan for emergencies. Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs; think through how you will communicate and where you will meet following an evacuation. Periodically review your plan for any needed changes.
- Share flood preparedness information with neighbors, family and friends. Using online resources with information on how to prepare an emergency kit and an evacuation plan.
- Consider flood insurance especially if you have family members with special needs. Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Ask your insurance agent about obtaining flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Typically, a 30-day waiting period is required before a flood insurance policy takes effect. Contact your insurance provider for more information.
Stay safe and dry this winter and take the necessary steps to protect people and property.