Personal Insurance

Prepping for 2024 Flooding Now Keeps Your Ankles Dry Later

prep for 2024 floods

Flooding in 2023 was expensive. Like, really expensive. Between severe storms and flooding events, the U.S. saw over $58.4 billion in damage during 2023, making it a record-breaking year. Ouch.

Unfortunately, the flooding isn’t going to stop anytime soon either. NASA has reported that if 2024 is a strong El Niño year, the west coast may see more high tide flooding rolling into town. Combine that with increasing reports of hurricanes and heavy rainfall in other parts of the U.S., and it feels like we should pull on the waders now!

So, what do you do since flooding isn’t going to stop? It’s simple—you get savvy about flood prepping before the water’s around your ankles.

Step 1. Know your area—are you in a high flood risk zone?

Knowing your area and flood risk goes without saying, but it’s the most critical step of flood preparation. Take time to ask yourself what flooding you may be susceptible to. Consider events such as:

  • Coastal Flooding
  • Flash Floods
  • Heavy Rainfall
  • Wildfire Aftermath
  • Spring Thaws
  • Hurricanes

You may find you’re not in a traditional high-risk flood zone. But keep in mind, people outside of high-risk flood areas file more than 25% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.

If you’re unsure of the weather patterns you may face, FEMA has an interactive floodplain map to help you learn or better understand the risks you face.

Step 2. Floodproof your physical belongings.

Physical floodproofing comes in different shapes and sizes, and the steps you take ultimately depend on what you can do. Some methods require more effort, time, and money than others, and not all are feasible for everyone. However, any amount of floodproofing is better than none.

Here are some ways you can minimize property damage before flooding ever happens:

  • Store valuables and important documents high up in water-resistant containers.
  • Replace carpeting with tile.
  • Seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior.
  • Direct water away from your home by keeping gutters clean and ensuring water collects away from the building.

For more tips, check out FEMA’s brochure on protecting your home and property from flooding.

Step 3. Create a financial safety net with flood insurance.

Ultimately, floods are temporary. But the damage they cause endures if you don’t address it. Recovering from flooding is expensive, and most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.

With how turbulent weather patterns have been over the past several years, being prepared with flood insurance is more important than ever. Floods come out of nowhere and can affect anyone. Don’t wait to speak with your agent, because most flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect.

Step 4. Keep your safety plans up-to-date and ready to go.

Last but certainly not least, keep your safety plans up to date and organized. If you don’t have any safety plans, this is a great time to put them together. You can quickly self-assess your safety plans by asking yourself the following questions.

  • How will your family stay in touch during a flood? Get back in touch after?
  • Do you have small emergency supply kits in all the areas you frequent? (Places like your car, home, workplace, etc.)
  • Are you signed up for local flood alerts and warnings?
  • Do you know what your local evacuation routes are?

To find resources for creating and implementing effective safety plans, visit www.ready.gov/floods.

Contact your Leavitt Group insurance advisor to learn more about this important coverage.

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