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Flood Emergency Preparation

Floods and flash floods are the most common natural disaster, occurring in all 50 states. They cause devastating damage to buildings and personal belongings — even in Southern California!

Some quick facts:

  • Floods cause devastating damage to buildings and personal belongings — even in Southern California!
  • One in three flood insurance claims are generated outside areas considered “flood-prone.”
  • Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

Follow these tips to ensure your family’s safety and financial stability in the event of a flood

Before a flood

  • Make a written, photographic and/or videotaped inventory of household possessions and property, and store it in a safe place (e.g. a relative’s home or safe deposit box) with insurance policies, documents and other valuables.
  • Take a first aid class from your local American Red Cross chapter.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit that includes a first aid kit, canned food, non-electric can opener, bottled water (emergency managers recommend three gallons per person), rubber boots, rubber gloves, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Identify evacuation routes.

During a flood

  • When a warning is issued, listen to local radio and TV stations for information.
  • When a watch is issued, move furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Abandon your car if stalled in rapidly rising waters and climb to higher ground. Do not drive into any large puddles or into water that seems to be moving rapidly.

After a flood

  • Call your flood insurance agent as soon as possible to see if you need to file a claim.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Keep all receipts.
  • Delay permanent repairs until your insurer approves reimbursement.
  • Get any necessary construction permits from your community.
  • Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Take photos of damaged areas.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your flood insurance company adjuster.
  • Meet with your adjuster before signing anything with contractors, lawyers, or public adjusters.
  • Let your car dry out before trying to start it.

Protecting yourself is easy

Flood insurance picks up where your homeowners insurance leaves off. It is not expensive, especially when compared with the monthly payments for disaster loans, and it’s easy to get—just call your insurance agent.

What to ask your insurance agent?

  • Do I have flood insurance?
  • How much flood insurance should I purchase?
  • How much contents coverage should I purchase?
  • Should I consider a three-year policy to reduce my premiums?
  • Do I qualify for a preferred risk policy?
  • Can I finance my premiums?

Contact your insurance agent today to see if your policy includes flood insurance.

Information provided courtesy of Independent Insurance Agents of America