Purchase flood insurance for your home, business, or rental. (Standard homeowner, business owner and renter insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. A new flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become effective, so don’t delay.)
Understand what is covered by your insurance policies and what your deductibles are. There are separate flood coverages for contents and building. Condominium association flood policies typically cover common areas and certain building elements within the unit.
Retrofit your property: Elevate the A/C, water
heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
Use the Personal Property Worksheet to make an itemized, room-by-room, list of your possessions and record the make, model and serial number of large appliances, electronics, and motorized equipment.
Prepare your home by securing or bringing in all loose items outside your home (furniture, grills, and bird baths), clearing storm drains, ensuring storm shutters are properly placed, moving or elevating valuable items in your home, replacing any worn out weather stripping or caulk around windows/doors, and placing your insurance documents in an easily accessible, waterproof location.
Shut off water service, gas service and electricity to your home.
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
One foot of water will float many vehicles.
Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
Did you know?
Flooding can be caused by heavy rains as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Get required permits before you start any home repair, improvement, or construction. Build Smart
Look out for price gouging. It is illegal for anyone to sell necessary goods or services at higher than normal prices during a state of emergency.
Never let anyone into your home without first asking for identification. Representatives of utilities, government offices and reputable businesses will have proper identification. More Pinellas County Consumer Protection tips
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
Take extra care in the prevention of mosquitoes breeding in standing water and remember the 3 Ds: Drain water when possible; Dress in light colors and cover all parts of the body; Defend with DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
Visit the Storm Tools page for more information specific to a recent storm.