Flooding is typically associated with hurricane season and warmer climates. But not always so. Winter storms can cause significant damage from storm surge, flooding, ice and snow. This year, winter storms have wreaked havoc across coastal areas of the northeast. Winter Storm Grayson struck New England with historic levels of snow and rain, flooding many coastal areas. Boston was flooded with up to 15 feet of icy water, the highest tide since 1921. As flood water freezes, it causes a host of damages to homes and infrastructure. Over 1,000 people reported power loss as a result of the storm.
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to ensure your property is winter-storm safe.
Step 1: Understand your property’s risk of flooding
This is where we can help. The more you know, the better able you are to prepare. Coastal Risk’s FLOOD AND CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT™ report can be a critical tool in assessing your property’s risk. Our detailed reports, available at www.floodscores.com, enable each client to learn the flood risk of a specific property currently and over the next 30 years.
Step 2: Take preventive measures against winter storms
The destructive power of winter storms can be very different from regular flood damage, as the addition of snow and ice can add additional pressure on roofs and homes. After learning your property’s level of risk from Coastal Risk’s FLOOD AND CLIMATE RISK ASSESSMENT™, you can begin to take measures to reduce or prevent damage. Here’s a few that we suggest:
- Learn how to protect pipes from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do.
- Elevate internal and outdoors electrical and climate systems.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Adding insulation to attics, basements and other areas will help to maintain higher temperatures. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out and precipitation out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of defense to keep cold air out.
- Consider flood control products such as flood doors or movable barriers.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area to mitigate loss from possible flood damage. Homeowners policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask your insurance agent about flood coverage from private insurance companies or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you are at risk.