5 years ago, I moved into a duplex in Brooklyn that I thought would be my long term home (read about it here). I mean, the space was chic and spacious, something that is typically hard to find in New York, the city of the shoebox apartment.
While I reveled in the space, and made myself comfortable with the top floor/basement combo, I quickly learned that having a lower level to your home comes with serious issues. The most pernicious one? FLOODING.
When I first moved in, the issue was the septic tank. My fabulous rugs have been replaced so many times, it’s hard to count! Eventually, once my landlord was tired of replacing my pricey carpets, he plugged up the drain, which solved the problem for a short while. But then, when the rains skewed torrential, the rain water would come in as well. This is what happened last night, as Hurricane Ida made a guest appearance in New York City.
Aside from finally planning my move (my landlord has not responded to this and the management company for the building said, “Sorry to hear that”–they don’t care), I have some tips for what you could do to prevent loss/damage if you live somewhere that is prone to leaks or floods:
- Elevate everything off the floor.
The most important items to get off the floor are the obvious: extension cords, anything electric, printers, important papers. Because I’m an OG at this, I knew that at least my computer was safe once I realized the water was pouring in.
2. Don’t store anything nice downstairs.
I keep most of my valuables above ground or in storage. I am happy to report that while I did lose a couple thigh high boots and other shoes, my most prized possessions are safe. Same goes for rugs. As much as I love my gold flecked zebra rug, it breaks my heart to see it constantly ruined. I’m not replacing it anymore!
3. Store gowns upstairs as well.
Absolutely anything that can touch the floor, take it up, including jumpsuits, dusters, you name it. If you’re not wearing it, sell it or put it in storage.
4. Keep a Mop and a Bucket Handy
My building doesn’t have one, so I used old t-shirts. Mop and Bucket will serve you well when severe storms hit.
5. Get Renters Insurance
This should have been #1, but I saved the best for last. After fighting with my landlord and management company over replacing my rugs one too many times, I finally decided to get insurance. I will be filing a claim today. But make sure your insurance covers Floods. Mine did not and many don’t. If you live in a basement apartment, make sure you get flood specific insurance. Thank me later.
Though flooding is NOT FUN, an absolute nuisance, and is honestly heartbreaking (I literally cried as I watched water rush under the door, whimpering, ‘I don’t know what do do,’), it is not the end of the world. The sun is shining again, and all material items can be replaced. And they will be.
A 6th tip: Don’t live on the ground floor. Ground floor for me, means people can look right into your living room. I’m also the unofficial doorman for the building (the post office/UPS/Fedex guy always rings my bell first, even if the package is not for me). That could be its own post, but I’m only gonna live on the top floor from now on, ok?!? PENTHOUSE, baby!!!!
I had to live here to ultimately see that my place is a deluxe apartment in the SKY!
Do you have anything to add?
Love & Light
*As I was walking back into my building after being turned away from the dry cleaner (who said they don’t accept wet clothes:/), a women approached one of our maintenance men and asked if there were apartments available in the building. I wanted to scream, “Yes! Yes, there are!!” But I didn’t. Give me until the end of the year to skedaddle bc this ish is for the birds! New Fashion Bomb Crib to come!
**Thanks to everyone who extended kind words and thoughts.