State Farm offers flood preparation and recovery tips ahead of Sally

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – State Farm offered tips for Mississippi homeowners ahead of Tropical Storm Sally.

How to protect against water damage: Whether it’s a leak in your ceiling or a basement filled with water, water damage can require a costly fix. Here are a few home improvements to make water damage less likely:

  • Regularly check your roof for signs of damage, such as excessive wear on shingles or missing shingles.
  • Seal your basement. Thick coatings, paint and silicate-based sealers may help minimize or prevent water damage. Each method varies in application and cost.
  • Replace washing machine supply hoses. Plan for new ones every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance plan.
  • Add or update drainage. Use gutters and downspouts to make sure water is diverted away from your home and its foundation.

If floodwaters partially or fully submerge your car, it can mean extensive damage and costly repairs. Here’s what to do after the waters recede.

  1. Survey potential damage. Note the depth of the floodwaters in relation to your car. Avoid starting a flooded car — this will cause more damage if there is water in the engine.
  2. Act quickly. Submersion of a vehicle in salt water — which is more damaging than fresh water — makes the chances of corrosion much higher. Start drying out your vehicle as quickly as possible, and contact a towing service to get it back to higher ground. Oil, transmission fluid and lube may need draining before a tow.
  3. File a claim. Your insurance company along with a qualified mechanic will uncover how extensive the problems caused by flood damage may be.

Stay safe when you need a portable generator to provide temporary power to your home. If the electric service is interrupted at your home, a portable generator can provide temporary power when and where you need it. But, generators are not without their safety hazards. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 80 deaths occur each year as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from generators. Before you use your generator:

  • Consider where you place a portable generator.
  • Your garage is not the ideal location for a generator. Portable generators should be placed outside and away from windows and doors so CO doesn’t enter your home.
  • Give your generator adequate “breathing” room — leave at least three to four feet of space around the unit to ensure proper ventilation.

Be aware of the electricity produced by a generator:

  • Keep generators on dry, level ground outdoors. If you must use a generator in damp or wet conditions, protect the unit with a canopy. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also recommends using generators and extension cords with ground fault circuit interrupter protection in damp or wet conditions.
  • Check out extension cords that might be used to connect an appliance to the generator. Be sure cords are grounded, and do not use cords if they are cracked, frayed or visibly damaged. Ensure extension cords are appropriately rated in watts or amps for the intended use.

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