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Things To Do Before Hurricane Season Begins: How To Prepare For Flood Damage

Many people each year lose everything due to flood damage. It only takes a couple of inches of water to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Floods can happen anywhere, whether you live in a floodplain or not. Flooding can include heavy rain, storms, or inadequate drainage systems.

We encourage you to be proactive and find out how much flood insurance is in your area. Did you know that a flood policy could cost as little as $300 a year?

After obtaining flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure the safety of your family.

1. Protect your possessions

Create a personal flood file that contains information about all of your possessions and keep it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file must have:

A copy of your insurance policies with the contact information of your agents. A home inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual record of all major household items and valuables, including those stored in basements, attics, or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for appliances and major electronics. Have jewelry and art appraised. These documents are vitally important when filing insurance claims. Copies of all other critical documents, including financial records or receipts for major purchases.

2. Prepare your house

Make sure your sump pump is working first, and then install a battery backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is collecting in your basement. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.

Anchor the fuel tanks. Elevate your electrical components (switches, outlets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.

Place furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement pads at least 12 inches above projected flood elevation. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop a family emergency plan

Assemble a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, radio and flashlight. Post emergency phone numbers next to the phone and teach your children how to dial 911. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Learn about safe routes to home, work, and school that are on higher ground.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your family emergency contact.

Have a plan to protect your pets.

Also, flood insurance isn’t typically included in homeowners insurance, so make sure you’re protected this year. The Weather Channel predicts that this hurricane season will be difficult.

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