Preparing your home for flooding: appliances and electricity

Apr 18, 2023, 3:00 PM

a home is pictured with sandbags deterring flood water...

Sandbags protect a home from floodwaters on Orchard Ridge Lane in Kaysville on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As flood season continues, there’s no guarantee that your house won’t be affected. But you can prepare for flooding ahead of time, in more ways than one.

Utah State University Extension Professor Kathy Riggs told Dave and Dujanovic one major thing to be aware of is how flooding can affect the electric makeup of our homes.

“It’s very important to make sure there’s no power coming into the home where there might be water…because the two don’t mix well,” Riggs said.

Riggs said if you’re not home and floodwater gets inside, ask someone you know to turn off the breaker panel or fuse box for you. You can also ask your power provider to cut it for you.

Once that’s taken care of, work on protecting major appliances.

Riggs said one option, if it’s feasible, is to prop up things like the refrigerator on a pallet to protect it from not only water but any sediment that comes with it. 

If lifting them up isn’t an option, wrapping them in plastic like those found at stores like Home Depot, could provide just enough protection.

“It won’t keep the appliance completely dry underneath…but, it will keep the sediment out of the main motor,” Riggs said.

And while knowing how to protect the inside of your home is valuable, there’s one thing that comes first.

“Preparation is the key,” Riggs said.

Riggs said homeowners and people living in ground-level units should monitor forecasts and emergency alerts so they can be ready.

Listen to the full Dave and Dujanovic segment:


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Preparing your home for flooding: appliances and electricity