My San Francisco Area Is Prone To Coastal Flooding – How Can I Better Prepare?
Preparation Can Lessen the Impact of Flooding in San Francisco
San Francisco is a lovely coastal town and is home to historical buildings, trolley cars, and diverse cultures. Because it is a coastal town, this leaves it open to severe flooding. It averages 25” of rain yearly, but that can increase with little notice. If you are a homeowner in San Francisco, being prepared for storm possibilities is the smart thing to do.
Why Worry About Coastal Flooding?
Over the past 100 years, San Francisco has experienced an 8” rise in sea levels. A local tide station has reported 474 days of exceeded flood levels. This has happened since 1950 and was compared against National Weather Service flood thresholds, according to RiskFinder.org. The flood level looked at is a 3’ flood. All the data points to a raised starting point for both high tides and storm surges. This can mean coastal flooding that happens more often and is more severe. It all points to the possibility of increased flood damage in San Francisco.
My Home is Low Level – Am I at a Higher Risk?
Many homes are below the 3’ flood level. This puts your home at higher risk if you fall into that category. Many folks believe it can not happen to them because it has not happened so far. Storms can appear out of nowhere, dumping massive amounts of water on the city. More than rainfall can increase the risk of flooding in your area, including:
• Tidal surge data
• Topography changes
• New construction
• Flood control measures
If you live in a high-risk area, you need to make sure you have the right kind of flood insurance. Flood hazard maps can help you determine the coverage that is best for your home.
What if My Home Experiences Storm Damage & Flooding?
The important thing in any potential flooding situation is to listen to local weather news and obey the warnings. If you are told to evacuate, do not stay in place. Your family’s well-being is not worth whatever possessions you own. Floodwaters bring a plethora of hazards with them, so do not enter your home until you are 100% sure it is safe. Calling SERVPRO is the next step once you have assured your family is safe.
The longer the water sits, the higher the possibility of secondary damage such as mold. In a residence that has experienced water damage from something like a burst pipe, a scope would get done first. This determines the needs of the home and allows a detailed plan to be crafted. But with floodwaters, there is often a need for emergency water mitigation. This can include roof tarping, checking for electrical issues, and making sure the structure is sound.
SERVPRO Technicians Provide Fast Intervention
Once any needed emergency procedures are put in place, our Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified staff gets busy. Floodwater is what is known as black water and is highly contaminated. Removing that water is the main focus. It requires the right PPE, equipment, and experience. SERVPRO IICRC techs meet all of those qualifications. The process typically involves:
• Using an EPA registered disinfectant spray on all impacted areas.
• Preventing the contaminants from spreading to unaffected places.
• Debris and silt get removed using rakes and shovels.
• Proper disposal of the debris.
• Water extraction using trash pumps.
• Extracting water from the flooring.
• Structural assessment to determine what gets saved.
• Content management.
• Clean and dry the home with air movers and dehumidifiers.
• Repeat disinfecting surfaces as needed.
In a floodwater scenario, there are items that cannot be salvaged due to the contaminated water. This can include carpet, padding, and upholstered furniture. We work with you to decide what to dispose of and what can be salvaged. We use controlled demolition to repair and replace structural elements, ceilings, and walls. We do everything possible to save as much as we can without putting your family at risk.
Be Prepared – Be Safe
Everyone should have an emergency disaster plan in place. Having the proper insurance is necessary, but your family needs to know what to do if a flood occurs. Make sure everyone knows:
• Where to meet
• Who is responsible for the children
• What to do if family members are not home
Make sure you have emergency supplies ready to go with you if you need to evacuate. A communication plan is vital.
Our SERVPRO team lives in the San Francisco area. We understand the risks of coastal flooding. We have families and homes in the area as well. That is why we are committed to making sure your home is cleaned and restored right in the event flooding occurs. Our company is licensed and bonded. Contact SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 for expert flood damage service. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.