Steps to prepare your home for flooding

As Mid-Michigan enters day 3 of heavy rainfall, Lansing City officials warn there are a few things to keep in mind.

“The last thing you want to do is find out your sump pump is not working after you have 3, 4, 5 inches of water in your basement,” says Lansing’s Emergency Management Chief, Mike Tobin.

Tobin says checking your sump pump every so often is critical and during a downpour like this one, homeowners should be on high alert.

“Five gallon bucket works, two gallon bucket, fill it up with water go right over to your sump. Pour it in there. As the water raises in there the sump should engage and it should pump the water out,” says Tobin.

A handful of rivers run through several Mid-Michigan cities that are at risk for flooding and Tobin suggests if you store items on a lower level to put them in plastic tubs or on shelves off the ground.

“It could be emergency supplies that you keep down there that you kept in cardboard that now they are ruined because of the water,” says Tobin.

But it’s not just about taking steps inside your home, Tobin says keeping an eye on water outside is just as important.

“If any tree limbs down, power lines down, stay away from them because that could create a larger hazard in your area because that could be electrified also,” says Tobin.

If you do find yourself in deep water, experts say home flood damage can get expensive.

“It’s not covered under a regular homeowners policy and sometimes people don’t realize that until they need it,” says Communications Director for the Insurance Alliance of Michigan, Lori Conarton.

Conarton says flood insurance is typically sold separately from homeowners and renters insurance.

Sewer and drain backups are also endorsements or ad-ons you can buy.

“It only takes an inch of water to cause major damage ya know to their property so if they think they may need it they should look into it,” says Conarton.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.