Wintertime flood risks: What your homeowners should know

By Kelly Leighton | Feb. 23, 2017 | 2 min. read

Wintertime flooding may not be at the top of most homeowners’ concerns this time of year.

But it’s something they should be cautious about, said John Dickson, president at NFS Edge Insurance. Wintertime flood risk is primarily driven by snow melt, according to Dickson.

He said the first step your clients need to take is to understand the snowfall in the community, as well as the surrounding areas. “Future weather patterns dictate the rate at which snow thaws. Understanding current conditions and forecast conditions allows residents to better assess risk today and tomorrow. Also, understanding how the region responded to past winters can help shape expectations with respect to how the same area will react to current conditions,” he added.

Once river waters swell beyond the flood stage, it is hard for homeowners to influence these waters, said Dickson. He said sandbagging can be effective for low to moderate floods, but homeowners should first and foremost make sure their families are safe and they have a plan of action.

“Outside the horizon of oncoming floods, homeowners should assess flood mitigation, such as venting. Foundations need to be properly vented in order for water to flow through rather than push through a structure and air vents, which are not effective. Flood vents are required for mitigation to be effective,” added Dickson.

He said homeowners that are unprepared, and assume that the worst can’t happen there are putting themselves at risk.

“The best thing agents can do is tell your homeowners to understand their risk, and to invest in their household peace of mind,” he added.

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