Bob Vila Radio: Fending Off the Next Flood

With a small handful of home upgrades, you can gain control over an influx of floodwater, going a long way toward preventing the most devastating damage. Keep reading to learn more.

By Bob Vila | Updated Jan 15, 2016 6:22 PM

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With severe weather events becoming ever more common, it may be wise to prepare for the possibility of your home being subject to a major flood.

Flood Control Tips


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Listen to BOB VILA ON FLOOD PREVENTION or read the text below:

Before doing anything else, consult literature from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to learn whether or not you live in a flood-prone area. If you are located in a vulnerable zone, don’t delay purchasing flood insurance, bearing in mind that many policies take at least 30 days to go into effect.

At home, there are a few other protective measures you can take. For one, make sure to label all the circuit breaks in the electrical panel. That way, you don’t waste any time in an emergency. Further, consider using bricks or pavers to raise up any appliances in the basement, and that includes the furnace and water heater.

An additional option: Hire a professional to add check valves to your plumbing system as a means of preventing wastewater from backing up into your drain lines. Another smart move is to set up a sump pump (or two) that would discharge any groundwater that enters the basement in the wake of a storm surge.

Finally, if you live in a particularly risky area, you may even want to think about constructing a levee. Neighbors might be willing to partner up for the project.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!