This spring many homeowners in the Midwest experienced heavy flooding and water flood damage in an area considered a low to moderate risk for flooding according to FloodSmart.gov. The reality is that 20% of flood claims in the US come from areas where flooding is considered low risk. The Insurance Information Institute found that "water damage is one of the most common and costly disasters affecting U.S. residences."
So, what can you do to best prepare your family and home to withstand flooding and prevent water flood damage?
Water Flood Damage Emergency Action Plan
Here are the three best steps to take:
- Perform an insurance check. Sadly, most homeowners are only partially protected by their standard homeowners' insurance policy. Think about it this way, water that comes from an overflowing body of water such as a lake or river, drains, and sewage pipes are considered water flood damage and require separate flood insurance policy or rider. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the umbrella organization for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which regulates and provides separate and comprehensive flood insurance to homeowners.
- Catalog your possessions and move expensive and sentimental items to higher ground. Today almost everyone has a digital camera handy and access to free online storage through iCloud or Dropbox. Cataloging your possessions will not only expedite the process of filing a flood claim, it will ensure that you receive the maximum funds necessary to replace items lost during a flood. Also, if your home has a second story or attic move valuable items to these locations; if possible, store items in plastic bags to help water-proof.
- Maintain a supply of emergency materials and have a "go-bag" packed. Plywood, plastic sheeting, nails, hammer, shovels, sandbags, flashlight, batteries, battery-operated radio, first aid kit, medication, sturdy shoes, emergency food and water, cash and credit cards are all good things to have stockpiled and readily accessible during flooding.
More Info? Check out three best practices to prevent water flood damage to your home! The NFIP reports that ninety percent of all natural disasters in the US involve flooding. Taking the time to have an action plan ready will help mitigate water flood damage to your home and help your family weather the storm during a flood.