While flooding can occur at any time of year, hurricane season on Long Island poses a particular threat of flooding around the coast.
Flooding and flash flooding are leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the United States, according to the National Weather Service. Floods are also the most common weather-related cause of property damage in the nation. Understanding your flood risk and taking proper mitigating steps can help prevent a disaster in your home.
Look For Your Home on the Flood Map
A flood map (sometimes referred to as a floodplain map or FEMA flood map) can be used to identify floodplain locations and flood zones. The best place to start is by finding out what flood zone, from high to low risk, your property is in. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works with each municipality to create and update flood maps that show the flood zone for each part of the community.
Check Your Flood Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not protect against flooding. If you are in an area with increased flood risk make sure you have extra protection against floods.
Flood-Proof Your Home
Here are some steps to keep flood damage at a minimum if water ends up getting into your home.
Raise Electrical System Components—Raising electrical system components above the anticipated flood level will help prevent damage to the electrical system and avoid the potential for fire from short circuits in flooded systems. Electric switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring should be raised to at least 12 inches above the base flood elevation (BFE) for your area. You can find out your property’s BFE by contacting your local building department.
Raise or Floodproof HVAC Equipment—Protect your HVAC equipment by moving it to an upper floor or build a flood-proof wall around the equipment.
Direct Water Away From Building—Make sure your yard slopes away from your home directing water away from the building.
Anchor Fuel Tanks—Unanchored fuel tanks can cause damage in a flood. The supply line to an unanchored tank in your basement can tear free and fuel can contaminate your basement. Make sure fuel tanks are properly secured.
Sump Pumps—Make sure your sump pump is working properly and battery is fully charged.