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Flood preparation tips for Westchester, NY residents

Floods are the costliest and most destructive natural disasters in Westchester, NY, and other parts of America. They are also the most common and pose a tremendous threat to property and human life.  However, the damages don’t have to be severe if you take your time to put the necessary measures to prevent water from entering your home. 

ASZ International Inc recommends buying flood insurance to protect your financial security. In this article, you will learn four flood preparations tips to help you protect your Westchester home or commercial property.

Develop an evacuation plan

Your priority during any disaster is to protect yourself and your family. Before making other plans, you want to ensure that you have an evacuation plan. If you live in a high-risk flood area, plan to evacuate immediately after you receive a flood warning.  Even if the storm is expected to be less severe, you might still want to have an emergency evacuation plan if the situation worsens.

Create diversion

If you have lived in the same house for several years, the chances are that you already know the direction of the water flow. To prevent this water from entering your home, you can create a diversion by digging the water path and using cement bags to create a wall between the water path and your home.

Prepare an emergency supply kit

Once you have an evacuation plan in place, your next step is to prepare an emergency supply kit and keep it in different parts of the house in case you need to get out of the house quickly. Your kit should include enough water, flashlight, food, change of clothes, phone, cash, batteries, and a first aid kit.

Stay connected

It’s essential to keep in touch with your family members and friends. Always have a phone with you for communication in case you need help. Let your Westchester, NY family know the weather condition and stay tuned for emergency weather updates and warnings.

If you haven’t bought flood insurance yet, this is the best chance to get the policy and protect yourself, your family, and your property. ASZ International Inc can help you find a policy that fits your flood insurance needs and budget. Call us for more information.

Preventing Pipes from Freezing

As the winter months continue, and temperatures continue to fly below freezing, it’s important for everyone to learn tips on how to avoid freezing pipes. With early detection and proper preparation, you can easily avoid this well-known winter peril.

Pipes that can freeze:

Frozen pipes can occur in both indoor and outdoor areas. Due to their outdoor location, the more common water lines that freeze are outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines. The indoor areas are where people tend to forget that they could be at risk. Unheated interior areas such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and kitchen cabinets that run against exterior walls that may have little or no insulations, are also in danger of freezing.

Contributions to frozen pipes:

There are a few different factors that can play into pipes freezing. Often, we think about the decline in temperature as being the main reason for freezing pipes. But there are other factors to also consider. One of them being the construction of the building. Buildings that are poorly designed and don’t withstand severe weather, as well as the age of the plumbing system in the home can play a huge part in frozen pipes. The quality and quantity of insulation are other key factors to think about. Blow-in or foam insulation added between interior and exterior wall surfaces and studs may actually insulate heat away from pipes, making them more prone to freezing. Lastly, it’s important to consider the fact that power outages could in fact impact your pipes. Most heating systems depend on electricity, so when the power goes off, so does the heat. Of course, it is most important to realize the impact of power outages during the cold winter months when the pipes are more susceptible to freezing without heat as damage could occur before the power is restored.

Preventing frozen pipes:

As the fall comes to an end, and the winter season is soon to begin, it’s important to drain and disconnect all outdoor pipes. For example, be sure to drain the water from your swimming pool, water sprinkler supply lines, hoses, and any outdoor plumbing systems. Using compressed air to blow outlines is an effective way to empty any water that may be left. It’s also important to store away any hoses used outdoors so they’re not damaged during the cold weather. Be sure to close inside valves that supply outdoor hose bibs and keep the outside valve open so any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing damage to the pipe. Keeping your house temperature set to at least 55 degrees is another key factor in keeping your indoor piping safe. Lastly, you should check for water supply lines that are in unheated areas (examples are listed above) so you can properly insulate these pipes by using specific products like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed heat tape, heat cable, or similar materials.

What to do if a pipe bursts:

It is extremely important to shut off the water at the main valve if a pipe bursts. Be sure to identify the pipe or pipes that have burst. Try your best to dry things out if you can and document everything that happened by taking photos of the damage/occurrence and writing down everything that has been damaged. Next, contact your insurance company to notify them of your claim. If you have standing water, you should also contact a plumber and property damage company to evaluate and remediate any water damage that may have occurred. If you would like recommendations, please contact ASZ International for assistance.

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