VILLAGE OF WESTERN SPRINGS Community Development Department 740 Hillgrove Ave. Western Springs, IL Ph Fax

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1 VILLAGE OF WESTERN SPRINGS Community Development Department 740 Hillgrove Ave. Western Springs, IL Ph Fax Flood Protection and Mitigation One of the most important things that you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy. Important factors pertinent to flood policies include: The regular homeowner s insurance policy does not cover flood damage. A flood insurance policy is available through your insurance company or agent. Flood insurance is guaranteed through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It normally takes 30 days after purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into effect. For more information about the NFIP and flood insurance, contact your insurance company or agent, or call the NFIP at FLOOD29 or TDD# Click here to visit the FEMA website. Avoiding Flood Damage: A Checklist from the Federal Emergency Management Agency The following checklist provides some steps which may be taken to help mitigate problems due to flooding. In researching the positive and negative attributes to each please consider the characteristics of your property, the building codes in your community and check with the Community Development Department about the permit requirements. The Community Development Department can be reached at (708) ext. 177 or ext Is the main electrical panel board located above potential flood waters? The main electric panel board (electric fuses or circuit breakers) should be at least 12" above the projected flood elevation for your home. The panel board height and clearances are regulated by code. All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician. Are electric receptacles and switches located above potential flood waters? Consider elevating all electric receptacles, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters and wiring at least 12" above the projected flood elevation for your home. You may also want to elevate electric service lines (at the point they enter your home) at least 12" above the projected flood elevation. In areas that could get wet, connect all receptacles to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) device or breaker to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution. All electrical work performed should be done so by a qualified licensed electrician. The Community Development Department can tell you if a particular electrician is registered with the Village. They also require a copy of the license. Call (708) ext. 177 or 180 for information on particular electricians performing work in the Village.

2 Are the washer and dryer above potential flood waters? For protection against shallow flood waters, the washer and dryer can sometimes be elevated on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12" above the projected flood elevation. Other options are moving the washer and dryer to a higher floor, or building a floodwall around the appliances. Are the furnace and water heater above potential flood waters? The furnace and water heater can be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12" above the projected flood elevation, moved to inside a floodwall or moved to a higher floor. (You have more options for protecting a new furnace.) Ask your utility about rebates for new energy efficient furnaces. The rebate plus the savings in fuel costs could make the purchase feasible. Outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps or package units (single units that include a furnace and air conditioner) can be placed on a base of masonry; concrete or pre-fabricated pad. All work must conform to state and local building codes. Is the fuel tank anchored securely? A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Cleaning up a house that has been inundated with flood waters containing fuel oil can be extremely difficult and costly. Fuel tanks should be securely anchored to the floor. Make sure vents and fill line openings are above projected flood levels. Propane tanks are the property of the propane company. You'll need written permission to anchor them. Ask whether the company can do it first. Be sure all work conforms to state and local building codes. Does the floor drain have a float plug? Install a floating floor drain plug at the current drain location. If the floor drain pipe backs up, the float will rise and plug the drain. Does the sewer system have a backflow valve? If flood waters enter the sewer system, sewage can back up and enter your home. To prevent this, have a licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow valve, permit is required for this work. Prepare for a Flood Keep emergency building supplies on hand, such as lumber, plywood, nails, hammer, saw, sandbags, shovel, crowbar and plastic sheeting. Plan an evacuation route and meeting place, practice the plan with your family. Keep an emergency weather alert radio on hand. Be sure to always have backup batteries. Make a written and video inventory. Keep insurance policies and a list of personal property in a safe location outside your home.

3 Prevent floodwater backup by having check valves installed in your plumbing. Move electrical system components to a higher location. If possible, secure shelves and water heaters to walls. After a Flood What do you do after your home has been flooded? Follow these tips from the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Wait for the water to go down before entering your home. Report downed power lines and gas leaks to the Fire Department or local authorities. Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box. If you have to step in water to get to your electric panel do not attempt to access the panel, call an electrician. Turn off the gas if you have gas appliances. Then have the mud cleaned out of the pilot and burners by a qualified technician. Check for structural damage and consult an Engineer or Architect as necessary. Check the ceiling for signs of sagging. If safe a hole at the edge of the sag to drain water. Find and protect the "irreplaceable" valuables such as money, jewelry, insurance papers, photographs and family heirlooms. Then freeze them in plastic bags to protect them from mildew and further damage. Circulate air through your home by opening windows and doors. Patch holes in the roof, walls or windows with boards, tarps or plastic sheeting. Have sagging floors or roof sections reviewed by a professional and may require bracing. Remove debris such as tree limbs or other trash. Check for broken or leaking water pipes. Do not drink, clean dishes, wash clothes or cook with tap water until it has been declared safe. Drain water in your basement slowly and carefully. Pump 2 to 3 feet of water out and wait overnight. If the water level has risen, it is too early to drain your basement. Draining basements too early may result in serious structural damage. Shovel out as much mud as possible. Hose the house down, inside and out. Hose heating and air conditioning ducts which may have mud in them to rid them of health hazards and have them inspected by a qualified technician. Have light sockets, receptacles and electrical boxes inspected by a licensed electrician. Have HVAC duct work cleaned / sanitized by a qualified technician. Keep records and photos of damage to the building, damage to the contents, receipts for cleanup and restoration expenses, such as material, labor and equipment rental, and receipts for flood-related expenses such as motel bills. Have gypsum wallboard replaced which can act like a sponge and soak up water. Allow wood to dry naturally, it will usually regain its original shape. Collect cleaning supplies such as brooms, mops, brushes, sponges, buckets, hoses, rubber gloves, rags, cleaning products, disinfectants, lubricating oil, trash bags and a hair dryer. Clean and disinfect everything in the house in contact with flood waters, including the walls, floors, closest, shelves, etc.

4 For a complete book on Repairing Your Flooded Home, contact FEMA Publications, P.O. Box 70274, Washington, DC or visit Is Your House Substantially Damaged? Substantially damaged means that the cost to restore your house to the "before damaged" condition would equal or exceed 50% of the value of your house before the damage occurred. If you are located in a floodplain, you must check with the Community Development Department before you build, fill or rebuild. Floodplain building additions, improvements, and repairs that equal or exceed 50% of the value of the existing building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially improved or substantially damaged residential buildings must be elevated to or above the base flood elevation. Flooding: Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Property Private Drains (laterals) and the Property Owner's Responsibilities Many residents do not realize the importance of maintaining what is known as the private drain. The private drain, or lateral, is the connection from your property to the main sewer. The drain is usually connected to the city's main sewer in the middle of the street and carries waste materials from your home or apartment to the main sewer. People often believe that the city takes care of this connection. However, care and maintenance of the private drain - from your home to where it connects to the main sewer - are the property owner's responsibility.

5 Sewage backups in your basement can be reduced by keeping the private drain clear of tree roots, grease and other materials and by repairing broken private drains. A licensed plumbing contractor can inspect your private drain and either clean it or make repairs. You should have your private drain inspected regularly. The private catch basin on your property should also be inspected and cleaned regularly. How to Flood proof your Basement Despite the best efforts of the Department of Public Services to alleviate basement and street flooding, some rain storms will strain the sewer system and cause problems for some property owners. This portion deals with basement flood proofing devices that you the property owner can have installed. Most of these items require the use of a licensed, professional plumbing contractor. Before having any work done on your plumbing system, get a number of estimates from different contractors. After reading the following descriptions, you should be better able to consult with a plumbing contractor about which device best suits your needs. Overhead Sewers The overhead sewer system diverts sewage from plumbing fixtures on the first and higher floors to a new sewer line run above the basement floor. This line is connected, either in the basement or outside the foundation, to the original house sewer as it leaves the building. The old sewer system is sealed. Any drainage from the basement level is pumped up into the overhead sewer. This system is probably the most effective, but also the most expensive. Power outages will cause pumps to fail but upstairs plumbing fixtures may still be used. Only basement plumbing fixtures cannot be used.

6 Valves Valves use a gate-like device to keep water from backing up into your basement. There are a number of types of valves. 1. A simple, hand-operated gate valve installed in the private drain can prevent back flow from the main sewer if the valve is closed before the main sewer backs up. The disadvantage with this valve is that it must be closed manually and you cannot use your sewer system until the valve is opened again. 2. An automatic back up (check) valve closes as soon as water begins to flow up the private drain from the main sewer. 3. The combination automatic backwater valve and a sewage ejector pump are another option. This unit operates when the backwater valve closes and plumbing fixtures, etc., build up to a level behind the valve that activates the ejector pump. The pump is able to pump water against the pressure of the sewer backwater. The advantages of these valves include: no pressure build up under the basement floor or in the drain system; no dangerous pipes sticking out of the floor; basic flood relief. However, in the case of the hand-operated valve, someone must be home to close it. Also, the gates of the automatic and combination automatic sewage ejector need to be frequently checked to ensure they are not being blocked by debris. Any of these systems must be installed by a licensed plumbing contractor. A permit is required and a plan of the work must be submitted to the Community Development Department for review and approval. Standpipes Standpipes are lengths of pipe open at the top and screwed into the basement floor. They hold sewer overflow until it recedes. Standpipes are generally inexpensive, easy to install and do not require a permit. They also help relieve pressure caused by backups.

7 However, using standpipes over 12 inches tall or capping a standpipe may rupture sewer pipe joints under the basement floor. Also, the protruding pipes may be tripped over and basement floor drains cannot be used until standpipes are removed. Plugs Plugs are plastic or metal devices fitted into floor drains to prevent water back-up. They are not useful if you expect over 3-4 inches of flood water. Plugs are generally inexpensive, easy to install, do not require a permit and can be installed flush with the basement floor. Do not use plugs if you expect flooding to exceed 3-4 inches. Severe flooding may cause ruptured pipes or cracking in the basement floor. Plugs must be removed to restore drainage. Other Ways to Help Alleviate Minor Flooding Here are additional tips to help prevent minor flooding. NEVER dump anything into street or alley sewers. Leaves, grass clippings, motor oil and other items pose a hazard to people working in the sewers. Make sure that curbside gutter boxes are not covered by trash, leaves, papers or other items. When these structures are blocked, water cannot drain from the street and will cause street flooding. Clean you private drain and catch basin regularly. Also have them inspected at least once a year.

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