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Get your home flood-ready this monsoon season | MyProperty.ph
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Get your home flood-ready this monsoon season

by Jillian CariolaPublished: July 1, 2013Updated: June 16, 2017

Home flooding during the rainy season is often inevitable, but there are ways to minimize the damage.

Typhoon season home flood preparedness MyProperty Philippines indoor flooding

June marks the beginning of the rainy season and with this in mind, households are rushing to get their homes ready to handle the coming downpours. Unfortunately, it is not just injury and loss of life that you need to worry about. In 2016, Super Typhoon Lawin left in its wake over 46,000 houses that were either partially or completely damaged.

For many people who live close to bodies of water and within low-lying areas, flooding is one of the causes of property damage. A study by PreventionWeb, a site that provides information for disaster reduction, revealed that in the Philippines, the average annual loss due to flooding from 1990 to 2014 reached $545.43 million.

As a highly effective flood prevention program has yet to be put in action, rising water will continue to be a problem in large areas of the country. But the good news is, there are certain methods that will keep damage to your home as minimal as possible.

 

Preparing months ahead

● If you do not have homeowners’ insurance, it would be best to get one immediately to ensure that your home and possessions will be covered. Fire insurance is the most common type of coverage, but a more comprehensive package includes acts of God, including typhoon and flood damage.

● If you have a lawn, redesign it in such a way that it will lead rain water away from your property and towards the street, where they can flow into larger sewers instead.

● Inspect your roof’s rain gutters to make sure they are still in good condition. Repair or replace parts are loose or damaged to avoid having the whole system collapse when it actually rains.

● Apply waterproofing to parts of your home that may end up submerged in flood, such as wooden stairs and flooring.

● Look closely if spots in your ceiling are discolored as this can indicate that water is already leaking from it. This can lead to a cave-in and even indoor flooding so it is best to repair it right away.

Typhoon season home flood preparedness MyProperty Philippines wood deck stain varnish brushing
Waterproofing a wooden deck. Photo via Depositphotos

● Check all windows for broken or missing glass panes, which can let water into the house. Make sure that the hinges and locks are in good condition as well so that they stay closed if the rain is accompanied by strong winds.

● Reinforce walls with waterproof sealant and re-caulk doors and windows to seal them.

● Store all important documents like birth certificates, passports, and work papers in a waterproof box and put them in a bedroom upstairs or a cabinet that is beyond the reach of typical flood levels.

● Install high wall shelves where you can keep some of your belongings as far from the ground as possible.

● Walk through your neighborhood to find out how high flood levels can get. Ask your neighbors or look for tell-tale signs such as water stains on walls or marks on sign posts. This will help you determine how high your furniture and appliances need to be raised in the event of a major flood.

 

Whenever bad weather is announced

● Check outdoor drains and clear them of debris or anything that will cause clogging.

● Sweep up dead plants, leaves, and twigs that can be carried off by rain water to keep them from blocking drains. In fact, you can stay ahead by trimming your property’s trees and shrubs of parts that may come loose during a storm.

● Close off doors and windows with sandbags. If possible, take large sheets of plastic and lay them on the sandbags for a more effective sealing method.

● Put big electrical appliances like the refrigerator and the washing machine on a raised platform.

● Roll up rugs or carpets and put them away to keep them dry.

Typhoon season home flood preparedness MyProperty Philippines sandbags sandbagging
Sandbags sealing a door. Photo via Depositphotos

● Take any harmful chemicals that are kept on a ground-level cabinet and place them on a high shelf so they won’t accidentally spill when the flood water comes in.

● If your basement is not built to withstand pressure from rising flood water, it would be best to open the windows and let the water in. This will keep the pressure equal on both sides and prevent heavy damage on your property.

● Bring any outdoor furniture into the house to avoid water damage and to keep them from being washed away.

● If your area is known for extreme flooding, bring food preparation appliances like your microwave or toaster to the second floor. Aside from keeping them from getting flooded, having them—as well as dinnerware, food, and water—upstairs means you will not be at risk of getting hungry or thirsty until waters subside or you are rescued in case flood water gets too high at the ground floor.

● Look for a place in your area high enough to safely park your car so it does not get submerged in flood.

 

During heavy rains, make sure you tune in to weather updates on the radio, television, or online. Make sure your mobile phones are fully charged in case you need to make emergency calls. Should announcements be made that your area needs to be evacuated, move quickly. Keep in mind that it is more important for you to get your family to a safe place than it is to save your belongings, so do not hesitate to leave your house if the situation calls for it.
 

Sources:
pagasa.dost.gov.ph, courier-journal.com, environment-agency.gov.uk, ag.ndsu.edu, malaya.com.ph, preventionweb.net

 

Main photo via Depositphotos

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