By Julia Menzo, Disaster-Response Co-Coordinator for Lutheran Congregational Services
It has been about a year since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused severe flooding in our region and Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern Pa. is still participating in several county wide long-term recovery committees working to help families recover. While there is assistance like this from many groups following a disaster, often the first three days following a disaster event, families and communities have to take care of themselves. These first few days are critical, and it is important for your family to be prepared. These simple steps from ReadyPA will help keep you prepared for anything from a power outage to a strong Nor’easter!
- Get an emergency supply kit that includes enough provisions for you and your family to live on for a minimum of three days.
- Make an emergency plan for you and your family.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your local municipality.
- Visit www.floodsmart.gov to find out if your home is at risk for a flood.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
- Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home. As a last resort, use large corks or stoppers to plug showers, tubs, or basins.
- If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage. You may also want to learn about the National Flood Insurance Program.