Plan – make a plan with your family on what to do if there is an emergency
Move – As high winds may be expected, secure your outside items. Move potential projectile items inside or Anchor down.
Move – Elevate important items ie place furniture on blocks in case of flood
Gather – Get supplies, such as water, prescription, non perishable food, cell phone battery operated chargers, flashlights, etc
Pay – make sure insurance premiums are paid to avoid a lapse in coverage and know your coverage and deductibles.
Move – store your vehicles to higher grounds away from large trees
Protect your home- trim your trees back, clear your gutters, remove debris that could block street drains, check your window seals, etc.
Before a Flood
In addition to having flood insurance, to prepare for a flood, you should:
Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Move your vehicle to higher grounds.
Elevate the AC, furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
Download a local weather ap, listen to the radio or television to keep up to date.
Move immediately to higher ground within your home or office building but do not try to drive as roads may be flooded.
Move essential items to an upper floor or attic only if you have time.
Place sand bags or plastic bags or even towels around openings to avoid water intake.
Wrap porous furniture legs with aluminum foil to avoid damage.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not movng or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
After the Flood
Although floodwaters may be down in some areas, many dangers still exist. Here are some things to remember in the days ahead:
Safety First – locate your loved ones including pets
The Road to Recovery
As soon as floodwater levels have dropped, it’s time to start the recovery process. Here’s what you can do to begin restoring your home.
If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
Check for structural damage to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.
Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.
What to know if you need to file a claim
If you want to get started on clean up, please document your loss.
Take pictures inside and out of damages and water mark lines.
If the water entered the dwelling, you can remove wet drywall and carpeting. Cut one foot above the water mark on the wall of every room that was damaged.
Save a 1ft by 1ft piece of each different type or style of carpet and padding in each room that you remove the carpeting.
Do not throw anything away until the adjuster comes to inspect the damage.
If you can safely do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
If you choose to use a water restoration company, they can help extract standing water and set out large fans to dry out the damage.
If you choose to use a remediation contractor, we advise not to sign open ended contracts. It is likely that all charges they include are not reimbursable under the flood policy.
If you need an advance on your claim ask your adjuster.
If you have flooded previously have your documents, receipts and photos to prove prior repairs.
Start a list of structural and contents damage
Contact your insurance agent to report the damage. Adjustors will contact you within 72 hours to schedule an onsite inspection
Remove excess water by mopping and blotting or moving wet rugs out of the property to avoid more damage.
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
Turn air conditioning on only if the AC did not suffer water damage for maximum drying in summer.
Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Do not start your car’s engine if it suffered water damage. That will cause the engine to have worst damage. Have it towed when it can to your body shop.
Info provided by Suzanne@SuzanneBrownAgency.com – call 281-558-2210 for more information.