Wintertime flooding: A threat many are unprepared for

By Kelly Leighton | Feb. 21, 2019 | 2 min. read

“There are so many causes of flooding,” said John Dickson, president and CEO of Aon Edge. “Too many times, people think ‘That won’t happen, not to me.’”

With weather across the commonwealth fluctuating between below freezing and spring-like, snow is melting, rain is rolling in and pipes are bursting. The risk for wintertime flooding hits a high as these areas thaw out. So, who is at risk? Dickson said FEMA offers an extensive map of where flooding is at a greatest risk or lower risk, however, just because you or your clients may live in a low-risk area does not make you immune to flooding.

“Flood waters do not know to stop at imaginary lines,” said Dickson. “Everyone everywhere should think about what they would do it flood waters would come near their homes.”

“Make sure you are ready. Do you have an inventory of your possession? Do you have a safety plan for family? Do you know how to shut off electricity, gas, etc.?” Dickinson said. “The most common mistake is the mindset of ‘this can’t happen to me.’ So, people don’t prepare. Theses are simple and free measures.”

However, despite residents’ best intentions, flooding can happen to even the most prepared people. Dickson said, “The water is going to go where it’s going. The sooner you can get back after the flooding, the better. Move possessions. Stop leeching of exposed drywall. When it’s safe, get back to the property. Preserve what’s left behind. Stop mold and water.”

Homeowners should also consider purchasing flood insurance. “Flooding is almost never covered by homeowners’ policy,” said Dickson. “You need separate coverage. There is a range of options, and it’s important that people think about works for them, not what works for neighbors. Consider what you may need if your house flooded, such as a hotel for a few nights and replacing things in the home, it adds up.”


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