Heavy rain across Florida this summer has led to flooding in some areas. “Flooding is the most common and costly disaster in the U.S.,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

There are several ways to minimize flood damage to your home without breaking the bank.

Check your landscaping

Routinely clean and maintain gutters, downspouts and splashpads so rainwater flows away from your home.

Clear debris from your drainage ditches and storm drains.

Connect a rain barrel to your gutter downspouts to collect runoff from the roof.

Seal Foundation Cracks

Close any foundation cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps completely.

Elevate your Possessions

If you have a second floor or attic, moving your belongings to higher ground will protect them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends raising and anchoring service equipment and appliances such as air conditioning units, water heaters, heat pumps and water meters at least one foot above the highest known flood level for your area.

Prevent Sewer Backups

Sewer or septic line check valves allow waste to flow only one way. Hire a licensed plumber to install them and plan to spend $100 or more per valve unless, you can do it yourself. This will prevent floodwater and wastewater from backing up into your home through toilets, sinks and other drains. As a last resort, use stoppers or plugs to close-up showers, tubs and sinks.

Buy flood insurance.

Flooding is not covered under your standard homeowners insurance policy.

“Just one inch of water can cause more than $25,000 worth of damage to your home,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

20 percent of claims come from places where the flood risk is considered low.

To keep your family safe during a disaster, the American Red Cross also recommends having an evacuation plan set, along with supplies before a storm is headed your way.

While the following measures can help reduce potential flood damage, they cannot eliminate all flood risks. Flood insurance is a vital part of your mitigation strategy. GreatFlorida Insurance currently provides flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Policy. Visit our website today.

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