CHICAGO – With an above normal spring flood risk across much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, waiting until the weather warms to prepare may end up costing you thousands of dollars in expensive repairs.
“Your first priority in any emergency should always be the physical safety of you, your loved ones, and your pets,” said FEMA Region 5 Regional Administrator Tom Sivak. “Take simple and even low- or no-cost steps now to ensure your household and property are as resilient as possible against the threat of flooding in the months ahead.”
Protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Know where to go for the latest updates. Timely information on weather conditions like a flood can make a big difference. Sign up for local alerts & warnings and receive real-time weather and emergency alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide by downloading the FEMA app. Learn more about the different kinds of weather alerts you can get and how you can get them on our website: Emergency Alerts | Ready.gov.
- Know where your gas, water and electrical shutoffs are located. Electrical sparks could ignite natural gas if it is leaking, and they could also cause other flammable materials to catch fire. Shutting off gas before emergencies can also avoid leaks and explosions. Cracked water lines after a disaster could pollute your water supply, so you may need to shut that off too, until you know it’s safe to drink.
- Make an emergency communications plan. Ensure everyone knows where to go, what to do and how to reconnect after a disaster.
Protect your property:
- Talk to your insurance agent about buying flood insurance. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters and business owners so you don’t have to be financially vulnerable to floods. Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more about the coverages available and costs involved. A policy purchased today will take 30 days to take effect, so act now!
- Waterproof your basement. Install a water alarm and maintain a working sump pump to protect your basement. Install a battery-operated backup pump in case of power failure.
- Remember S.E.T. Store documents like passports, medical records, insurance information and birth certificates in a flood-safe place. Elevate items that you want to protect, like critical utilities or valuables. Toss out debris from gutters and drains to avoid an accumulation of water.
To learn more about preparing for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy and the benefits of protecting your home or property investment against flooding visit www.FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419. Individuals can always find valuable preparedness information at www.Ready.gov/floods.
FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.