Amy Bach answers questions about how to prepare your home for El Niño and what you need to know about flood insurance. Here is your El Niño preparedness list:
- Think about the conditions around your home. Are there large trees? Is there a slope or hill leading down to your house that could funnel water under doors? Where and how could heavy rain or high winds cause problems?
- Buy sandbags and consider installing a flood vent if you have a basement.
- Clear leaves and debris out of your gutters.
- Remember that flood damage is excluded from most home and business property insurance policies. Just because your home hasn't flooded in the past doesn't mean it won't in the future.
- Consider buying flood insurance. Your main options are a National Flood Insurance Program policy or a policy through Lloyds of London or another "non-admitted" insurer. For specifics, the Flood Insurance section of our Buying Tips Library.
- Keep in mind NFIP policies have a 30 day waiting period between the date you buy one and the date it starts covering you.
- Make sure your home policy covers drain and sewer backup damage.