Apartment Safety: 7 Items to Have in Case of a Flood

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Apartment Safety: 7 Items to Have in Case of a Flood

Staff Writer · Mar 22, 2010

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are important in a home, but what if you have a flood? Unless it is an obvious threat, floods do not usually come under the heading of apartment safety. However, many apartments have been flood damaged due to faulty roofs or broken pipes. Storing some simple items to handle a flood threat is easy and smart. It can make a difference when it comes to monetary, as well as sentimental losses.

1. Insurance Policy

If you have apartment insurance, ask your carrier if they offer flood insurance. Find out exactly what it covers, including structural as well as natural occurrences. The deductible will vary depending on the apartment’s location. If you do not have apartment insurance, try to work a policy into your budget so a loss does not force you to. If your apartment is in a community that is a participant, it may be protected by the National Flood Insurance Program.

2. A Safe

Safes have come a long way since the cumbersome steel boxes seen in old movies. Now you can buy some pretty good ones at your local hardware store in all kinds of sizes. Make sure it is waterproof and large enough for whatever is important to you.

3. Box of Gear

Grab old towels and sheets as they wither, cut them up and store them in a clean dry plastic box labeled Emergency Gear. If a pipe bursts, get down your box. Old cooking pots or buckets should be in there as well plus a box of thick contractor bags that can handle heavy, wet garbage. A flashlight is also important to keep in the box.

4. Shut-off Valve Info

Write down where your water, gas and/or electrical shut off locations are and keep them handy. If you can’t find them, ask your super. When in the throes of a stressful flood situation, the last thing you want to do is go searching for a lever or button that will save your space from being flooded more, or worse yet, turned into a fire scenario.

5. Boots

Boots come in handy for dirty jobs. Pick up a pair of waterproof boots–up to the knee is best for floods–and tuck them away in the back of a closet. If you ever have to trudge through raw sewerage, these will be your best friend.

6. Pet Gear

Make sure you have travel pet gear on hand if you need to leave in a hurry. Collapsible food containers or a portable litter box can help when in a rushing panic due to being flooded.

7. Wet-Vac

Cleanup after a flood can be a real hassle. Owning a wet vacuum makes this messy job a lot more tolerable by enabling you to suck up puddles of liquid. If you have the storage and the concern, a portable pump is priceless when it comes to getting unwanted water out of such places as basements and patios. If none of these are possible a small–about the size of a Dustbuster–wet-vac is inexpensive and useful for smaller jobs like overflowed toilets or leaky dishwashers.

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