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Before rivers rise from spring flooding, there are actions you can take to be sure water doesn’t cause problems in your home.

Rising temperatures and a warmer Gulf of Mexico could mean more moisture in the air and more weather systems like the one in Aug. 2016 that devastated parts of southern Louisiana causing millions of dollars in damage.

There are ways to protect the life you have built, and it is always a good time to prepare for disasters. Disaster preparedness decreases losses that happen over and over, financial hardship and death. FEMA hopes you will consider mitigation options after seeing what has worked for other people in their homes and communities.

What you need to know:

Mitigation reduces a property’s risk. It allows residents to return home more quickly, with less damage, after the next storm. While it may cost more to begin with, mitigation pays off in the long run. In fact, estimates are that on average for every dollar spent on mitigation, you save six from future losses.

Some actions that you can take before the next big storm include:

§ Elevate (move up higher) or flood-proof your washer, dryer, water heater and HVAC systems. If possible, move these appliances out of your basement to the second floor or attic.

§ Relocate electrical outlets to three feet above the floor.

§ Seal your basement walls with waterproofing compounds.

§ Elevate the exterior air conditioning compressor 2-3 feet.

§ Purchase flood insurance by calling your insurance company or local independent agent who can write flood insurance directly with the National Flood Insurance Program.

Resources: § Visit FloodSmart.gov or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627 for more information. § Go to www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program to learn more about any property’s flood risks, estimate an NFIP premium or locate an insurance agent who sells flood insurance. Visit www.ready.gov/floods for flood information and safety tips.

§ Speak to a Community Education and Outreach (CEO) specialist by calling: 833-FEMA-4-US or 833-336-2487 or visit CEO’s web page for publications you can use as guides for your recovery: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/lamit/ or https://fema.connectsolutions.com/la-es-mit/ for Spanish. These specialists provide information on how to repair and rebuild safer and stronger after a disaster. Specialists are available as well by email at FEMA-LAMit@fema.dhs.gov. For information on Louisiana mitigation planning visit: https://getagameplan.org/make-a-plan/mitigation-plan/

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