IF YOU HAVE ADVANCED WARNING OF A MAJOR STORM, THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP PREPARE YOUR HOUSE AND PROPERTY FROM UNEXPECTED WATER DAMAGE:
- Check to make sure all downspouts and roof gutters are securely fastened, free of debris and draining properly.
- Make sure yard culverts and street drains are free of debris and can drain water away as fast as possible.
- Inspect all drains throughout the house, including those in the garage, driveway, basement and patio to make sure the covers are not obstructed and the drains aren’t clogged.
- Make sure all clean outs are accessible.
If you have advanced warning of a major storm, you can protect the water in your home’s plumbing system from contamination and make it available for use:
- Shutting off the main water valve coming into your home will stop contaminated water from getting into the house.
- Open a faucet at the highest point in your house (such as an upstairs bathroom) to allow air into the system. Then draw water as needed from the lowest faucet in your home.
- Water in the water heater or a pressure tank contains many gallons of safe water for use in an emergency. You can assure the freshest water supply by flushing the tank and allowing it to refill with clean water.
- Make sure to turn off electricity or gas to the water heater so that the heating unit won’t come on while the tank is being emptied. Draw water as needed from the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
- The water stored in your home’s plumbing system is safe for a few days. Beyond 2-3 days, it must be disinfected before it is used for drinking or cooking.
- Sinks and bathtubs are great places to fill with water for emergency use. Water stored this way is perfect for cleaning dishes, bathing or flushing toilets. However, this water is not recommended for drinking and cooking unless it is first disinfected.