Flood season is upon us, and that means extreme weather conditions, heavy storms, and relentless torrential rains are headed our way. Even though you cannot control the weather, you can control how you react to the risk of flooding, home damage, or even evacuation due to extreme conditions. Most homeowners just assume that their basic homeowner’s insurance will cover all property damage, but that is not the case at all. If you live in an area near a river or stream, or live anywhere that there is an imminent flood risk, you need to take control and take the proper steps to make sure that your home or business is protected in the event of a flood. According to FEMA, only 2.2% of homeowners are actually protected by flood insurance, and to reduce your risk, the NFIP website, Floodsmart.gov, suggests the following steps:

First of all, you need to learn your flood risk. You can easily find out your flood risk by entering your address at Floodsmart.gov “Assess Your Risk.” Also, insurance agents can help you confirm the flood risk in your area so you have a better understanding of what type of policy you may need to purchase for your property. Just like homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance also has limitations and things that it doesn’t cover, such as basement upgrades.

From there, you should have a plan for evacuation in place. Planning and practicing a flood evacuation route is a good idea. You should also ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and ensure that everyone in your family knows the contact’s address and phone number so that they can contact them should you not be able to.

Begin conducting a thorough and meticulous home inventory. Good documentation of any of the belongings of your home will help you file a flood insurance claim. By doing this, you are ensuring that you will receive compensation for all of your contents of your property if you have that specific coverage for your home. You can also visit www.knowyourstuff.org for more information.

Building a home emergency supply kit is also a great idea for homeowners. Bottled water, food, first aid supplies, medicines, and a battery operated radio are effective items to include, and should be ready to go when you are. You can visit www.ready.gov for an emergency disaster supply checklist.

Lastly, you should purchase a flood insurance policy, especially if you are in a high-risk flood area. Most homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, and there is also a 30 day waiting period before your policy will become effective. If you already have a flood policy, remember that it needs to be renewed each year for it to be completely effective.

If your home does flood, you need the help of professionals to get your home and your life back on track. These water damage repair experts can help you quickly assess the damage and implement a plan of action.

Updated: June 25, 2014 — 1:28 pm

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