It's National Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16-22) and the Michigan State Police are encouraging residents to prepare for possible flooding in their neighborhoods.
The state police offer the following tips to help you prepare for flooding as the spring thaw begins:
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person.
- Scan and store important documents on an online, cloud-based program.
- Put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home.
- Understand how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home.
- Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home.
- Consider installing sewer backflow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drain pipes.
- Double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.
- Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
- Raise or flood-proof heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment by elevating equipment above areas prone to flooding. Another method is to leave equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block flood wall around it.
- Anchor fuel tanks. Unanchored fuel tanks can be easily moved by floodwaters.
To be covered from flood damage, an individual must purchase National Flood Insurance through an insurance broker who works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For more information, go to www.floodsmart.gov.
For more information about what to do before, during and after flooding, go to the Michigan Flood Ready website at www.michigan.gov/mifloodready.