12 things you can do to protect your stuff during the next flood

If there’s one thing we learned last week, it’s that flooding is a new normal.

But it doesn’t have to cause mass chaos like last time, and it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your life. Here are a few pro tips from the City of Miami Beach for what to do before, during, and after the rains.

What you can do before

  1. Raising an entire home is a non-starter for most people. But you CAN raise appliances. Garages are particularly susceptible to flooding. Do you have a second fridge in there? Raise it up. An A.C. unit in your backyard? Put it on stilts. Also, did you know you can move electrical outlets up higher? Yep.
  2. Get the elevation certificate for your home, which will tell you how high it is above sea level. If you find it confusing, call up your city’s floodplain manager and they’ll walk you through it. If you’re willing to shell out a bit of cash, you can get a full assessment from companies like Coastal Risk Consulting for about $150. [infobox_default_shortcode header=”How to get your elevation certificate” img=”” color=”71, 105, 142, 0.1″]Miami Beach: 305 673 7610City of Miami: 305 416 1100 (Ext. 1) or e-mail [email protected] you’re outside either of those, call up Miami-Dade County: 305 372 6466[/infobox_default_shortcode]
  3. Call up the relevant engineering department and find out what kind of big projects are in the works for your neighborhood, like street raising or pump installation. It will help you plan.
  4. Sub in more flood resistant material when you can. Tile and cement are way better than wood and drywall, for example.
  5. Choose landscaping over cement when you can – it absorbs water way better.
  6. Locate your flood insurance policy. Keep it somewhere handy. Know it well.

Just before or during the flood

  1. You probably know what parts of your neighborhood or parking garage get hit the worst. So move your car ahead of time. Consider putting it in an elevated public garage, even if that means you’ve gotta spend a couple bucks.
  2. DON’T GO IN THE WATER. It is gross. Whatever you need to do can wait.
  3. Also, don’t drive through it unless you have to. The traffic is going to be a nightmare and P.S. It’s probably not safe.

After the flood

  1. If your car went through any floodwater, take it to a car wash – and pay special attention to the undercarriage, which probably got bathed in a nice mix of salt water, pollutants and maybe even sewage.
  2. If you’ve got landscaping, wash that down too. Salt is no bueno for most plants. (Better yet: Replace those plants with salt-tolerant ones.)
  3. If anything was damaged, take photos immediately and report it to your insurance agent.

You can find the full rundown of what to do (and not do) here.