There are many headaches that hurricane season can bring but one of the biggest is the prevalent threat of flooding. Floods are life-threatening, city-altering, property-destroying events that when unprepared for, can be beyond devastating.
Purchasing the right flood insurance policy to fit your needs and having coverage on your auto policy are great ways to get started protecting the things that are important to you but there are practical steps homeowners and auto owners alike can take to help limit the damage before it happens. Even if you aren’t in a “flood zone”, 20-25% of flood claims come from non-flood zones according to FEMA, it is important to remain prepared as we begin another storm season.
Have a Storage Plan
If you have a two-story home, consider dedicating a place for storing important documents, priceless family heirlooms, and other important things on the second floor or attic. Knowing how you will store things, where you will store things, and what items get prioritized will help you when storms approach. Have a checklist ready and organize beforehand to make sure all of your bases are covered. Even cars may need a storage plan for low-lying individuals. If you are in an area in which your home may flood and can legally and safely park your car in a higher domain, consider doing so to help protect against loss. Even if your insurance policy covers it, the hassle and impact that a loss of transportation brings, especially during times of emergency, can be large obstacles to overcome.
Have The Right Insurance Coverage
It’s a common mistake for homeowners to think that their homeowners insurance will cover damages to their home due to a flood. While you can expect some coverage, to get full protection you’ll need to purchase a flood insurance policy. On average in the state of Texas, your policy can be around $699 per year, but that can fluctuate higher or lower based on where you live. TGS Insurance can help you find the best policy for covering all of your home’s valuables, so should a flood arise you can rest assured you’re completely protected!
Document Everything With Detail
When disaster strikes, the last thing you will want to happen is to have an insurance claim rejected due to a lack of proper documentation. Be sure to brush up on your insurance policies to understand what it is they cover and speak with your agent about any questions you may have. From here, you can begin documenting the things you have worked for in the event a flood should occur. Remember to record times and dates as your insurance provider may need these pieces of information for your claim as well as any steps taken by you and your family to prevent loss during the flood. Documenting the process as well as the property that requires protection can go a long way should you need to make a claim.
Raise Valuables From the Ground
As we mentioned, storing things in your attic or a second floor can help prevent loss but even if a flood doesn’t raise to that extremity, raising items you wish to save can go farther than you think. Even a few inches of water can bring a tremendous amount of damage and with germs, chemicals, and many other terrible things lurking in floodwater, you may have to toss or clean things that could have avoided destruction altogether. Some ideas for raising items include:
- Putting expensive electronics on top of your bed, counters, or tables.
- Picking up food that may be stored at a lower level.
- Storing your pet’s food and water away from the ground so that it is not contaminated.
- Secure larger items if you can safely perform such DIY projects or secure them through a professional service (air conditioners, furnaces, etc.)
If it’s on the ground and you need to save it, simply place it in a higher place for the time being. Raising your valuables will help give you a bit more peace that should harm befall your home, the damage will be minimized.
Turn Off Your Electricity When Possible
Electricity and water aren’t exactly best friends and mixing the two can be expensive and dangerous. You can help limit hazards and damages by cutting power to sections of your home that are at risk of flooding. The damage to internal components and the risk of unknown electrical currents in floodwaters can both be minimized by cutting your power. It is important to remember that when messing with electricity to always use safety and that because this is a flood event, residents should be abundantly cautious when performing this task and only perform it if it is safe to do so.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Knowing what you are going up against before it strikes your car or home can go a long way in protecting them. Flash floods can occur at a rapid rate and can strike in an instant. Monitoring your surroundings from a safe location, such as the second story of your home, and staying up to date with reliable news and updates can go a long way. Be sure to speak with neighbors you can trust and contribute to neighborhood groups with pictures and accounts to help spread relevant knowledge. If you do wander outside your home, it is best to follow local government and official guidelines, to avoid all flooded areas, and to watch for debris and hazardous components such as fallen power lines.
We always strongly advocate for our customers to take all of the necessary precautions in case disaster strikes. By knowing what to do before and after a flood, you’ll be better prepared and will thank yourself in the long-run.