Angie's List: Is your basement ready for heavy rain?

With rain in the forecast this weekend, it's a good time to make sure your home is ready.

Hopefully you won't have to deal with flooding this Labor Day weekend. It's what happened to James Harris last year after 2 inches of rain flooded his Colerain Township home.

"I was cleaning upstairs and heard water down in my basement," Harris said. "We've lost thousands of dollars worth of stuff."

How to Prepare

So are you prepared for heavy rains? Many people don't realize that standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding from rain.

Our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List remind us that you need a separate flood policy, often known as a "rider" to cover basement flooding.

For creek backups or general outdoor flooding, you usually need Federal flood insurance.  It costs around $500 a year for the average Cincinnati-area house.

Angie's List also says this weekend is a reminder to review your homeowners policy every year.

Angie Hicks said "if you've done a remodeling job on your house, you potentially need to add additional coverage.  Also, your belongings.  You buy something, buy some jewelry or electronic equipment, those are important to ask your agent about to be sure they are covered as well."'

Check Sump Pumps

Angie Hicks says if you have a sump pump, you  may want to check it before the rains hit.

"The easiest way to do that is fill your sump pump with water, then go outside to check that its actually pumping water out," she said.
 
And if it has a battery backup, check the battery. It's been a dry summer, and the pump may not have run for a while.

One good thing right now: Streams and creeks are so low that it will take a lot of rain to send them over their banks.

Have Generator Ready

Finally, if you are thinking of buying a backup generator, check out our new report on WCPO.com on the best generators according to Consumer Reports Magazine.

If you already have a generator, make sure you have enough gasoline to run it for at least 24 hours, if not more.

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