LANSING, MI – April showers bring more than just flowers; they also bring the potential for flooding, so the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging citizens and businesses to be prepared.
“In Michigan, spring begins the flooding season,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “To be prepared and safe, Michigan residents should protect their property against any flooding hazards and double-check their insurance coverage.”
While flooding is most prevalent near low-lying areas and bodies of water, it can occur almost anywhere, including near small streams, creeks, and in basements.
To prepare for a flood:
- Create an emergency preparedness kit with a 72-hour supply of water, including three gallons per person.
- Put important documents and valuables in a water-proof container on the top floor of your home.
- Understand how to safely turn off electricity and gas lines in your home.
- Create an inventory of your household items and take photos of the interior and exterior of your home.
- Consider installing sewer backflow valves to prevent flood water from backing up into your home through drain pipes.
- Double-check sump pumps to ensure they are working properly. If possible, have a battery backup system.
- Keep materials like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber handy for emergency water-proofing.
- Find out how many feet your property is above or below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you are at risk.
- Raise or flood-proof heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment by elevating equipment above areas prone to flooding. Another option is to leave equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block flood wall around it.
- Anchor fuel and propane tanks. Unanchored tanks can be easily moved by floodwaters.
In addition to flooding preparedness, citizens are encouraged to purchase flood insurance. Homeowners’ or property owners’ insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that 90 percent of all natural disasters involve flooding. An inch of water can require a property owner to replace carpet, drywall, floor boards, moldings, doors, and other belongings. Additionally, clean-up of mud and residue can be costly, as can repairing any mold and mildew damage that may occur.
To be covered from flood damage, an individual must purchase National Flood Insurance through an insurance broker who works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For more information, go to www.fema.gov/national-flood-
For more information about what to do before, during, and after flooding, go to the Michigan Flood Ready website at www.michigan.gov/mifloodready