How you should prepare for a flooded basement
CONCORD - As temperatures start to warm up, an increased risk of flooding begins.
"As snow starts to melt, if we get some heavy rain, areas - especially in our city - a lot of basements in low lying areas are prone to flooding," said Portsmouth Fire Chief Steven Achilles.
When water does enter basements it can not only be damaging, it can be dangerous.
"First thing we recommend is to shut off your furnace, or your boiler, and then at your panel - if you're familiar with your electrical panel - shut off those breakers to the basement," Achilles said.
But the key - is to be a step ahead.
There are some recommendations on how to prepare:
- If you anticipate flooding, buy a UL approved sump pump.
- If you have one already, make sure it works.
- Walk around your home - and assess any areas that may be a problem.
In local stores - managers say they're prepared, but know customers may not be.
"In most cases people are waiting to see what happens," said Jeff Ginn, a manager at the Concord Aubuchon Hardware where shelves were stocked full with sump pumps.
Ginn said it's always better to try and prevent any issues.
"Take a look and see what your risk is. Can you make some changes - move some snow away from the building. Clean out your gutters in some way," he said.
Some fire departments have a limited supply of pumps for emergency situations - but there's only so many homeowners they can help at a time.
"We can come assess the damage, try to minimize any threats," Achilles said. "But realize that we can't stop the water from coming in your basement."