Protect Your Chicago Real Estate from the Dangers of Flooding

March 14, 2011

While we feel comfortable that Illinois will never experience the amount of water that has covered the island nation of Japan due to recent earthquakes and tsunamis, there is still a very real threat of flooding here, and the more educated you are, the better you can protect your home and family from harm.

March 14-18 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week, a time to learn that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a bucket of cure when it comes to protecting your home from water damage.

“There’s a good chance we could see severe flooding in one or more areas of the state this spring,” said Jonathon Monken, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

“Flooding not only causes damage to property, it can also be deadly. We want to make sure people are aware of the dangers and know how to prepare and stay safe before spring flooding occurs.”

Map of flood risk across the country

Illinois has an above average risk for flooding.

Before the Spring thunderstorms rumble into town, keep your Chicago home safe and dry by taking these steps:

*Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly and clean out any debris in it and the ejector pit.

*Make sure you have a battery backup system in the event of a power outage, and check that it is charging properly.

*If your backup system is almost 10 years old, it’s time to replace the batteries, even if they say they are fully charged. If the batteries are old and don’t stay running as long as you need them to during an outage, it could be as bad as having no backup system at all.

*Do you have flood insurance? Figure out if you need it and how much it would cost by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program at

People underestimate the power of water, though maybe not as much after seeing the images coming from Japan.

In the U.S., almost 100 people die due to floods each year. Six inches of fast-moving water can sweep away an adult and only 18-24 inches of rushing water can carry away an SUV.

“Flood Safety Awareness Week’s primary purpose is to increase public knowledge of the dangers of flooding,” said Darrin Hansing, Service Hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, IL. “A majority of flood-related fatalities are the result of people driving across flooded roadways. These deaths are preventable. For your safety please remember, ’Turn around, don’t drown.’”

Each day during Flood Safety Awareness Week, the NWS in Lincoln will post information on flood-related topics at

So get informed, protect your home and family, and get ready for a rainy Spring season in Chicago!

Categories: Education

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