Flooding can happen anytime, anywhere, although Charleston is at greatest risk during hurricane season (from June to November). If your home or business is in a low-lying area along the coast you are especially susceptible to water intrusion as a result of storm waters — but individuals living or working near large bodies of water, lakes, rivers, or streams can also be affected if the right conditions align. When a hurricane or tropical storm hits the Charleston area, flooding can occur in number of ways; most dangerously when strong winds from the storm cause a storm surge pushing seawater onto shore, but also as a result of heavy rains and the overloading of water containment systems due to debris. Flood protection is an essential step in preparing for a hurricane, tropical storm/cyclone, or other severe weather in Downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Danield Island, and beyond.
Protecting Your Property
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) there are three key steps that you should take to protect your property when there is a high risk for flood water damage.
Your first goal should be to eliminate and/or reduce the risk of damage to structures as a result of flooding. Some actions, such as waterproofing basements and other sublevel rooms can be most easily undertaken well in advance of learning that tropical weather will strike. The same can be said for placing electrical paneling, wiring, and sockets at elevated levels. However, when a storm is inbound, you should try to get your appliances as high off the ground as possible. This includes electrical cords and any other objects which might short-circuit or otherwise malfunction when exposed to water even for a short period of time (don’t forget smaller household appliances such as the vacuum cleaner in your closet or shredder on your office floor).
Disaster Plus 24/7 ProTip:
If you live or work in a low-lying area coastal area, near a beach, or in Downtown Charleston consider purchasing a ‘sump’ (submersible) pump – these handy utility pumps are available from online retailers such as Amazon for between $50 and $75 and can be a lifesaver for preventing substantial amounts of dirty water and soil-based debris from accumulating in areas of your property (especially basements and garages) which often collect water and are most likely to have water intrusion during a major storm.
Other Important Actions
Don’t neglect or forget the smaller things when preparing for flood protection, such as preventatively cleaning your gutters and drainage areas, moving or stacking furniture, and, certainly, making sure that your valuables, pictures, and important documents have either been relocated or placed in a waterproof safe or other place which is certain to remain dry. FEMA recommends preparing a list of your home’s contents — you can do this either by taking photographs of each room or videotaping your home, and storing important documents such as insurance/rental/mortgage agreements in a fashion which can be easily accessed. Disaster Plus suggests storing a copy of these items digitally, either using a secure, encrypted cloud service such as Dropbox or on your smartphone.
It is very important to realize that standard insurance policies do not cover flooding. If you do not purchase flood insurance (which is available through the National Flood Insurance Program for homeowners, businesses, and renters) you will have no financial protection for repairs which are required due to flood water damage.
How Disaster Plus Can Help
Our 24/7 Disaster Team is available 365 days a year, day or night at 843-724-7247. Not unlike the postal service, we are on-call rain or shine — through hurricanes, power outages, and flooding. Since 1986, Disaster Plus has dealt with flood protection and weather disasters in the Charleston area. We’re different from other service providers you might have encountered who have corporate offices as far away as Tennessee and Michigan. Disaster Plus is locally owned and family operated as well as 100% invested in safe and trusted Disaster recovery and restoration in Charleston after any major weather event.