This storm season has already been a difficult one thanks to Hurricane Matthew hitting the southeastern United States, leaving devastation in its wake. Whenever these storms hit, the damage can be extensive, sometimes killing or injuring people. Even less powerful storms can harm your home and your other possessions. Your plumbing is definitely not safe from the flooding that results. When you live in hurricane territory, you need to take steps to protect your plumbing system.
Before the Hurricane
When a hurricane is on the way, you need to check the drainage on your property. When the wind and rain hits, the ditches need to be able to flow freely. If you have a blocked culvert near your home, take steps to clean it out. Making sure the drains are open will reduce flooding although it obviously will not eliminate it. Still, it may keep the flood level down and save some of your possessions.
Experts also say you should shut off the water before the storm strikes; otherwise, water could back up into your lines, polluting your water supply. You need to open up one faucet to vent your lines, but it should be the faucet furthest from the main water line. In addition, you should also turn off your water heater. Doing so is a safety measure, but if you shut off the water valves as well, you can have a reservoir of clean, drinkable water. Remember to complete these steps whether you evacuate your home or stay put during the storm.
After the Hurricane
Once the storm is over and you are back in your home, you will need to take certain precautions. You should not drink the water until your municipality has declared the water supply safe. If you are on a well system, it is even more important not to drink the water until you have had it tested. Call in the professionals to examine your drains and make certain that your pipes were not damaged. If your home is flooded, do not go in without wearing protective clothing to protect you from the sewage that is undoubtedly present. You could become quite ill from the bacteria present in flood water. Consider the water dangerous until you are told differently.
Hurricanes are frighteningly powerful and can wreck anything in their paths. Before the storm, you can take precautions that may make recovery faster and less traumatic. Afterward, you still need to be quite careful. Consult with the professionals and secure pure drinking water. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, always be prepared to take action.