I Live In A Coastal Town – What Do I Need To Know About Being Prepared For Flooding?
Understanding the Risks Can Help You Better Prepare Your Seal Beach Home.
Over the past 90 years, Seal Beach has experienced approximately 3” of sea-level rise. The projection is an increase in that number over the next century, mainly due to climate change. This means coastal flooding can increase along with the severity of the storms. The local National Weather Service sets flood standards for the area. Since 1960 there have been 166 days where those levels were exceeded.
What Causes Sea Levels to Rise?
While factors can vary from location to location, certain elements impact rising sea levels in coastal towns. These include:
- Oceans Getting Warmer – Oceans have been warming for over a century satellite, and thermometer measurements show. Water expands as it warms. Since seas have nowhere to go when they expand, they go up and go out.
- Ice Shrinking – Global glaciers and ice sheets in places like Greenland and Antarctica are slowly melting. Some are breaking off into the ocean as a result. This adds large amounts of land water and ice into the oceans, significantly impacting rising sea levels.
- Land Sinking – Coastal land is sinking in many places. Often it is the result of nature and time, but industry-related pumping can have an impact as well.
When sea levels rise, the starting point for tides, waves, and storm surges rise as well, according to Riskfinder.org. This is why the storms could increase. This can lead to flood damage in Seal Beach.
Are You Prepared for Storms?
Storms can hit any city at any time and cause untold damage. If you live in a coastal town, the risk is more significant for rough weather and flooding. The lower your home is, the more of a chance there is of floodwaters intruding on your residence. Many factors can contribute to increased flooding, such as rainfall, topography, tidal and river flow data, and new construction.
You may never have experienced storm damage. But that does not mean you won't have a problem in the future. SERVPRO is here to help if you do.
How Can I Protect My Home & Family?
There are certain things that any family who lives in a coastal town should be doing. If you are unsure of the risk in your neighborhood, flood hazard maps can assist. This is important when it comes to homeowners insurance. Coverage can vary, and you want the flood insurance you need for your situation.
Spring and fall are often the time of year when hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms make themselves known. Having an emergency kit on hand is wise, especially during the stormy season. Consider putting together a backpack for each family in your home. It should contain things like:
- Change of clothes
- Bottled water
- Special toy (for kids)
At SERVPRO, we recommend having a family plan in place should you need to evacuate. This is a smart move, even in the case of fire. Once you have it set up, then practice, especially if you have little ones. Consider the following:
- What is the meeting place for everyone?
- Which person is responsible for what little one?
- What members are at school or work?
- Who is your out-of-town emergency contact?
- Where are the essential documents located?
How Can SERVPRO Help if My Home is Flooded?
SERVPRO can be on the scene within hours of an emergency flood damage call. Floodwater is considered Category III or blackwater. It is highly contaminated and not safe. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) technicians are ready to provide emergency mitigation such as roof tarping, safety assessment for entering, and dealing with electrical issues. The crew posts signs and wears the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Once everything is secured and it is safe to do so, our team provides the following flood damage controls:
- All affected areas are sprayed with an EPA registered disinfectant.
- Prevent the floodwater from spreading to unaffected areas with containment measures.
- Remove and dispose of standing silt and debris.
- Water extraction with powerful pumps, including trash pumps, truck-mounted, and portable pumps.
- Evaluate the structure and contents for decontamination or disposal.
- Discuss with the owner and insurance adjuster what stays and what goes.
- Antimicrobial and anti-fungal products get used throughout the process.
- Dry the home using air movers, industrial fans, and dehumidifiers.
- Clean and disinfect throughout the various stages as needed.
The restoration process then begins. This can include controlled demolition for walls and ceilings. Our goal is always restoring the content of the home when possible. Providing pack-out services for off-site cleaning of the contents often takes place as well.
Don’t let coastal flooding take you and your family by surprise. Be proactive! You cannot stop the waves from hurtling toward your home. But you can have a plan in place for when it happens, and SERVPRO is an integral part of that plan.
Contact SERVPRO of Seal Beach / Los Alamitos / Cypress at (562) 431-9400 for expert flood damage service. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.