SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Hurricanes and other tropical systems can bring flooding and high wind well inland.
Your top priority is to protect yourself and your family. But there are things you can do to protect your property, too.
Leslie Chapman-Henderson is the president of FLASH: the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. She’s an expert on what we can do to protect our homes. She suggests that we start by watching the water.
“Understand where the water goes when you have a lot of rain at your house. Keep your gutters clean. Look at that flow. if the water is flowing toward your house, that means it’s going to rise up and eventually come in. Let’s get a strategy for keeping it out of your house,” Chapman-Henderson said.
Those strategies include long-term projects like grading your property to keep water from flowing in as well as short-term solutions like sandbags or other barriers.
You also want to protect yourself in case water does get in by purchasing a flood insurance policy. Flooding is not included in homeowners’ policies, but you can arrange to get flood insurance from your insurance agent.
This is critical to recovery. When Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, Texas in 2017, the average payout for flood victims who did not have flood insurance was $3400. That amount is not nearly enough to cover typical damage.
While inland flooding is our main threat, strong wind and isolated tornadoes can occur.
Keep trees trimmed away from your house to minimize damage.
Chapman-Henderson recommends we pay attention to two areas: our attics and our garages.
“Look around the edges [of your attic] with a flashlight and say do I see metal connectors on the inside of that attic that are holding that roof down. If you don’t see any, you can retrofit,” Chapman-Henderson said.
“You should probably look at your garage door, because garage doors are large, weak openings…and they can be reinforced very affordably as well. In most cases when we go out after storms, garage doors are the first thing to go in a wind event,” she continued.
Check on some of FLASH’s tips on preparing for hurricanes by clicking here.
You may never need that extra protection. But if you need it and don’t have it, it will cost you much more.