FEMA offers ways to mitigate, or even avoid spring flooding disasters

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August 2016 flooding in Hammond, La. (AP File photo)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – FEMA has released a set of directives to help Louisianans mitigate or even avoid spring flooding disasters before they happen.

According to FEMA, rising temperatures and a warmer Gulf of Mexico can mean more moisture in the air provoking weather systems like the one in August 2016 that devastated parts of southern Louisiana causing millions of dollars in damage.

There are ways to protect the life you have built, and it is always a good time to prepare for disasters.

Disaster preparedness decreases losses that happen over and over, financial hardship and death. FEMA hopes you will consider mitigation options after seeing what has worked for other people in their homes and communities.

Mitigation reduces a property’s risk. It allows residents to return home more quickly, with less damage, after the next storm.

While it may cost more to begin with, mitigation pays off in the long run. In fact, estimates are that on average for every dollar spent on mitigation, you save six from future losses.

Some actions Louisianans take before the next big storm include:

▪ Elevate (move up higher) or flood-proof washers, dryers, water heaters and HVAC systems. If possible, these appliances should be moved basements to the second floor or attic.

▪ Relocate electrical outlets to three feet above the floor.

▪ Seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds.

▪ Elevate exterior air conditioning compressors 2-3 feet.

 ▪ Buy flood insurance by calling an insurance company or local independent agent who can write flood insurance directly with the National Flood Insurance Program. Resources:

▪ Visit FloodSmart.gov or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627 for more information.

▪ Go to www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program to learn more about any property’s flood risks, estimate an NFIP premium or locate an insurance agent who sells flood insurance. Visit www.ready.gov/floods for flood information and safety tips.

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