As Southern California deals with the aftermath of record-breaking rainfall, two things are becoming clear: the drought is over (for the time being), and lots of people are dealing with water damage.
Water damage is the number one cause of loss for home insurance claims. Of course, flooding is not the only way the contents of your home can be damaged by water. Broken or cracked water pipes, a damaged washing machine hose, even an ice maker on the fritz can ruin your day, not to mention your floors and your furnishings.
But flooding from a natural disaster is a particularly traumatic event to deal with. We have all seen the heartbreaking images on television of distraught families and their lovely homes completely ruined by flood water and mud flows. Financial hardship aside, it is an event that can have a lasting impact on the emotional well-being of those affected. Time and time again, when you hear their stories, the loss of priceless family photos and memorabilia is one of the things that causes a surprising amount of grief in the face of this overwhelming disaster.
Here are some really simple steps you can take right now to protect the treasures that will provide you a measure of comfort should you ever find yourself facing a flood-damaged home.
- First, find out if you are in a floodplain. FEMA has a quick and easy way for you to enter your address and find out here. They update their flood maps continually, so if you think you are in a vulnerable area, check back often.
- If you live in a floodplain (and even if you don’t because we are all subject to natural disasters), make a list of the treasures you would like to save because they are essentially irreplaceable, such as:
- photo albums
- old letters
- important papers like insurance documents
- … to name a few.
- An obvious and easy step: move those items to an elevated area in your home, like upper floors or attics.
- Store them in water-tight containers (cardboard is not your friend here).
- Create digital copies of all your photos and documents and store them online and on a portable storage device. This is a time-consuming process, but future generations will thank you.
- Make high-quality back-up photocopies of your photos and documents and store them (and/or the originals) in a safe and secure storage unit.
If you live in Southern California, we have several Dollar Self Storage locations to serve you. Our friendly and knowledgeable managers will be happy to help you find a storage solution that is just right for you.