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Avoiding Flood Damage: A Checklist for Homeowners

4/26/2011 11:24:13 AM

This homeowner's checklist will help you become familiar with what you can do. For more information about the costs and benefits of each method, talk to a professional builder, architect or contractor. You should also ask your building department about building permit requirements.

Do you know your flood risk?

Call your local emergency management office, building department or floodplain management office for information about flooding. Ask to see a flood map of your community. There may be a projected flood elevation for your neighborhood. This information will help you determine how much water is likely to come in.

Do you have enough flood insurance?

Even if you have taken steps to protect your home from flooding, you still need flood insurance if you live in a floodplain. Homeowners' policies do not cover flood damage, so you will probably need to purchase a separate policy under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

It takes 30 days for a flood policy to take effect. This is why you need to purchase flood insurance before flooding occurs. If your insurance agent is unable to write a flood policy, call 1-800-638-6620 for information.

Is the main electric switchbox located above potential flood waters?

The main electric panel board (electric fuses or circuit breakers) should be at least 12" above the projected flood elevation for your home. The panel board height is regulated by code. All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician.

Are electric outlets and switches located above potential flood waters? Consider elevating all electric outlets, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters and wiring at least 12" above the projected flood elevation for your home. You may also want to elevate electric service lines (at the point they enter your home) at least 12" above the projected flood elevation.

In areas that could get wet, connect all receptacles to a ground fault interrupter (GFI) circuit to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution. Have electrical wiring done by a licensed electrician.

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