Plan Well Before a Flood

Flood insurance is inexpensive. Having coverage relieves a great deal of the stress when this disaster occurs. But in addition to purchasing a flood insurance policy, you can minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety with a few precautionary steps.

1. Safeguard your possessions.
Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions. Store it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

  • A copy of your insurance policies with your agent’s contact information.
  • Conduct a household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written record of all major household items and valuables, even when you have them in storage. A visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record is also useful as a form of proof. Record and file serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.

2. Prepare your house.

  • Make sure your sump pump is working. Consider installing a water alarm that will alert you if water is accumulating in your basement.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts before winter. Inspect them during the year for debris.
  • Make sure any fuel tanks are anchored.
  • Raise electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
  • Raise the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop a plan to deal with emergencies.

  • Create a safety kit. Some items you may want to include are: a flashlight, extra batteries, bottles of drinking water, canned food, snacks, medical supplies, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
  • Create a plan to protect your pets
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