How to Prevent Flood Waters From Entering

Floods are common natural disasters that affect small communities, entire cities or sometimes an entire country.

How To Prevent Flood Waters From Entering

When flood waters come indoors, the most significant damage can happen. Those living in flood-prone areas should take the initiative to prepare their homes for potential flooding to avoid personal loss. Floods can happen without warning and can occur any time of the year.

Step 1

Elevate your building and reinforce it using one of several methods suggested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The FEMA pamphlet on elevating flood-prone homes can be found at on FEMA's website. Options include raising the entire foundation and placing a higher support under it, as well as adding on living space in a higher level of the home and making flood-prone portions unnecessary for living.

Step 2

Place sand bags or beams, stacked higher than flood waters would be expected to rise, across areas outside and away from your building to prevent the flow of water from reaching the house. Stack a row of bags or wooden beams in a line side by side across the area where water is likely to approach. Stack the next layer on top securely and angle the makeshift wall in a direction that would cause water to roll away or around the building. This type of water blocking may prevent significant damage to the interior of your dwelling.

Step 3

Seal the walls of any basements of low-level floors with a waterproofing compound to prevent seepage from saturated soil. Use a product such as Masterseal 340, Chemrix or ChemMasters and brush it on in thick, even coats. The compounds are completely waterproof but will not bend. If there is shifting in your foundation or walls, the cracks may open up and allow seepage.

Step 4

Clean out your gutters regularly and keep debris off the roof to allow for free flow of water down the drains. If gutters are clogged with leaves or debris, floodwaters can back up and possibly cause leaking into the building from above.

Things You Will Need

  • sand bags
  • waterproofing compound

Tips

  • Elevate your electrical panels to an area above potential flooding levels if you live in a flood-prone area.
  • Watch television or listen to weather radios during storms to stay abreast of changing weather conditions.
  • Identify dams in your area and know what could happen if one of them fails.
  • Become familiar with local emergency evacuation plans.

About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.