Extensive flooding is one of the greatest threats presented by the annual hurricane season, which is why Sagicor General is urging Barbadians to take the necessary precautions to protect their home and possessions.
This advice comes from Vice President – Insurance Operations Mark Prescott following several weeks of persistent rain and flooding across the island, some of which have resulted in damage to several properties and vehicles.
“In the lead up to and during the hurricane season, we tend to focus on storms and the impact of high winds. However, what we have seen in Barbados over recent years is a significant amount of flooding resulting from heavy rains over an extended period of time, presenting a serious challenge to property owners,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we cannot dictate the amount of rain that comes our way, but we can put measures in place to lessen the impact.”
The experienced insurance executive stated that in addition to taking out adequate insurance for their property and contents, property owners, especially those in flood-prone areas, should, among other things, inspect the exterior of their building to identify vulnerable areas where water can find its way in.
“Any cracks or gaps should be sealed using proper materials to stop water from compromising the foundation of the property. Lawns also tend to flood quite quickly and should therefore be graded away from the property to keep water from settling and creating pools near the foundation, or finding its way through exterior doorways,” said Prescott.
“It is also very important that we perform periodic checks to ensure that gutters and drains are cleared, thereby allowing water to flow freely and avoid accumulation.”
In terms of preventing damage to items on the interior, the Vice President advised property owners to relocate their expensive or sentimental items to higher ground, whether to another floor if available, or simply raise them off the ground. He also stated that in the event water does enter the property, electrical panels should be shut off to prevent electrical damage or potential shock. (PR)