Flash floods can bring an enormous amount of water in a short amount of time. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, you have very little time to prepare. It's important to understand that no matter what preparations you do, there's not much that can hold back the amount of water a flash flood can bring.
However, it is important to reduce the risks of dangerous conditions in a flooded basement. Here are a few suggestions of what to do in advance to reduce your risks of returning home to the dangers of a flooded basement after you evacuated.
Prevent sewage from backing up into your basement
When flash floods rip through neighborhoods, they can cause sewage to back up through floor drains in basements. To prevent this, you can install a check valve in the basement floor drain. These valves are designed so liquids can only go down into the drain and no liquid came come out of the drain. This is important to protect your basement and the rest of your home from sewage.
If you don't have a check valve in the floor drain and your basement floods, do you touch the water with bare skin. Also, everything in your basement can be contaminated with sewage. Don't try to clean up this type of mess yourself. Hire a professional flood damage restoration service for more information and assistance instead. They have the equipment and bio-hazard suits that are necessary for protection from contamination.
Prevent electrocution by turning off the power
Water and electricity is a dangerous combination. Before evacuating your home due to flash flooding, it's a good idea to shut off the main circuit breaker of your home. That way, you won't risk electrocution when you return home. A big part of a waterproofing system is the sump pump. Prepare for flooding by having a battery backup to power your sump pump without electricity.
Occasionally test the battery backup by shutting off the electricity power source and filling the sump pump pit with a bucket of water. If the battery backup doesn't pump the water out, replace the batteries. If that doesn't work, you may need a new backup. Consult with a waterproofing specialist to be sure.
If you don't have a battery backup power source for your sump pump, don't let that prevent you from turning off the main circuit breaker. It may be possible for a sump pump to electrify the water in a flooded basement. An alternative to a batter backup is a gas-operated generator. However, it's not recommended to leave a generator running if you need to evacuate due to a flash flood.
Prevent your heating oil tank from spilling oil
Water just several feet deep is powerful enough to carry away vehicles on roadways. Imagine what that type of force can do to the heating oil tank in your basement. Even though the sideways force of the water in a flooded basement may not be forceful enough to move these items, the vertical movement could topple them over.
When it comes to your heating oil tank, this could mean oil will be mixed in with the flood water in your basement. As you can imagine, it would be a feat to remove the oil/water mixture. There are several ways you can reduce the chance of this happening. You can build a platform to raise the heating oil tank off of the floor. Another option is to have the top of the tank bolted to the wall or a post.
If you don't take preventive measures to ensure your heating oil doesn't spill, call a company that specializes in flood damage restoration.