While some floods are unexpected, others can be predicted, giving you time to plan ahead and prepare for the worst. Taking these precautionary steps before a flood strikes can significantly reduce the time, effort and money you’ll need to put into cleanup efforts; not to mention, you can save your most treasured possessions.
Your insurance provider will need a record of your assets so you can be compensated for the appropriate amount when filing a claim on your flood insurance. If you haven’t yet created a home inventory, now is the time. Make a list documenting all of your valued possessions and their dollar worth; include photos of all items and save receipts for high dollar items. Store this inventory, along with other critical documents such as birth certificates and car titles, in a safe place such as a safety deposit box.
Remove irreplaceable and sentimental valuables and safely store them elsewhere. You may also wish to remove furniture, artwork and even the carpeting. If a flood is anticipated, the authorities will often announce a projected flood level, which you can use to your advantage. Turn off, unplug and raise large appliances above the level if you don’t have time to remove them completely. And finally, turn off your water, gas and electricity.
Though preparing your home is a big chore, you should also make time to develop a comprehensive emergency plan. Map out evacuation routes from home, work and school, including your entire family and your pets. And just in case, pack an emergency kit containing a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food for all people and pets, flashlights with extra batteries, first aid supplies, seven-day supply of prescription meds, cell phones with chargers, blankets, extra clothing and rain gear, baby and pet supplies, sanitation and hygiene products, sunscreen, multi-purpose tool and anything else you think is necessary.
Remember, your material possessions can be replaced, but your family cannot. The most important preparation you can make is how to get you and your family to safety. However, preparing ahead can certainly make life easier after the floodwaters drain away.
Learn about more ways to protect your home and loved ones. Call Lupton & Luce at 631.727.4114 for more information on home insurance.