After a record amount of snowfall this season, the Chicago area hopes it won't also have to deal with record flooding.
But a few days of warmer temperatures coupled with rain in the forecast has left many residents and emergency officials keeping a wary eye on river levels.
Here's five things you can do to help control flooding and the resultant damage to your home.
1) LEARN FROM HISTORY
If your home's been flooded before, there's a good chance it will happen again. I's important to unplug all electronics from wall outlets and power strips before water enters a home. If not, residents risk being electrocuted by the still water in their home. Additionally, remove all items from the floor to avoid water damage, and remove valuable items from the basement.
2) CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Make sure your sump pumps are working properly. Fill the pump pit with water to ensure it is properly discharged.
3) CLEAR IT OUT
Residents are advised to clear snow, ice and debris from drains surrounding their homes, including those at the bottom of exterior stairwells, in front of garages and window wells. If your window well does not have a drain, use weather guards to keep water out. Err on the side of caution
4) MINIMIZE WATER USE
Chicago officials say the public can help plan for and minimize flooding by reducing water use. Postponing high water consumption activities such as bathing or showering, running dishwashers or washing clothes will help provide maximum capacity in the local and intercepting sewer systems during emergency periods.
5) BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
To help reduce street flooding, residents are asked to monitor catch basins for blockage. Help prevent flooding by using a rake to clear debris from the tops of catch basins, the grated openings on the curb lines of streets. If the drain is clear of litter and water pools in the street for several hours, Chicago residents should call 3-1-1.