Planning Ahead of Time
Prevention and maintenance can drastically reduce the possibility of
water intrusion in a home. Periodically inspect for leaks, cracks, or
water stains in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Keep gutters clean
to make sure water flow away from the home is not impeded by debris.
Check that outside walls and foundations have not developed any cracks
where water could seep in. (See the foundation repair section for more
information.) Ensure that basement sump pumps are in working order,
free of debris, and equipped with a battery back-up. Locate and label
the shut-off valves to the water supply for the home before being faced
with an emergency. Also, create an “emergency file,” with copies of
critical documents, including your insurance policy and agent’s contact
information, an inventory of your possessions with photos and any other
documentation, and receipts for any major purchases. Store these copies
in a waterproof container in the home, and place the originals in a
safe-deposit box or other secure off-site location.