Amy Bach answers questions about how to prepare your home for El Niño and what you need to know about flood insurance.  Here is your El Niño preparedness list:

  • Think about the conditions around your home.  Are there large trees?  Is there a slope or hill leading down to your house that could funnel water under doors?  Where and how could heavy rain or high winds cause problems?
  • Buy sandbags and consider installing a flood vent if you have a basement.
  • Clear leaves and debris out of your gutters.
  • Remember that flood damage is excluded from most home and business property insurance policies.  Just because your home hasn't flooded in the past doesn't mean it won't in the future.
  • Consider buying flood insurance. Your main options are a National Flood Insurance Program policy or a policy through Lloyds of London or another "non-admitted" insurer.  For specifics, the Flood Insurance section of our Buying Tips Library.
  • Keep in mind NFIP policies have a 30 day waiting period between the date you buy one and the date it starts covering you. 
  • Make sure your home policy covers drain and sewer backup damage.