Flood Preparation Isn’t Just For Those On The Water

No one wants to be a flood victim, forced to sort through soggy basements and damaged belongings after the water drains. Floods are the number-one national hazard in the country, occurring in all 50 states. By having a plan in place, you can assure that you and your family stay safe and avoid some of the stress and potential financial loss after a flood.

Whether you live near water or not, it’s important to have an emergency plan to keep your family and your belongings safe if there’s a flood. Water damage will ruin important documents like birth certificates, mortgage papers and passports, so make copies of them and store the originals somewhere else, like in a safe deposit box. Also take pictures of expensive items and store the pictures and receipts in the safe deposit box as well. That way you have evidence of the value of your property.

Be Prepared Before a Flood

Floods can happen anytime and anywhere. And they can happen fast. So whether you live near the water or not, you should always be ready. Here are some important things you can do to prepare.

  • Copy your most important documents (mortgage papers, deed, passport, bank information.) Keep copies in your home and store originals in a secure place outside the home, like a bank safe deposit box.
  • Take photos of your most valuable possessions (furniture, musical instruments, electronic equipment.) Store copies with other documents.
  • Save and store receipts for any expensive household items (appliances, electronic equipment, etc.) so that you have proof of original cost.
  • Make an itemized list of other possessions, such as clothing, books, small kitchen appliances, etc. You don’t have to note every item and its cost, but the more comprehensive your list, the better.
  • Flood insurance only covers basement equipment essential to the structure of the building, such as a furnace and hot water heater.
  • Review your policy and ask questions to make sure you have the proper level of protection.

Have an Emergency Plan

  • Provide your insurance agent, employer, and family with emergency contact information, so that you can be reached after a flood.
  • Put aside an emergency kit equipped with a large flashlight, spare batteries, candles and waterproof matches.
  • Keep a minimum 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.
  • Include a battery-powered radio in your emergency kit. Even if you never experience a flood, you’ll be glad to have this kit during a power outage.
  • Visit www.disasterhelp.gov for more info.

Be Safe During a Flood

Hopefully, you never have to experience a flood firsthand. But if you do, there are a few things you can do to stay safe.

  • Don’t walk through a flooded area. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down.
  • Don’t drive through a flooded area. Just two feet of water can lift and move a car, even an SUV. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood.
  • Keep away from downed power lines and any other electrical wires – electrocution is often a major cause of death in floods.
  • Watch out for animals who’ve lost their homes during a flood. Animals may seek shelter in your home and aggressively defend themselves.

Get the free Flood Preparation and Safety package

You can read more tips in the free Flood Preparation and Safety package available from The Federal Citizen Information Center. There are three easy ways to place your order:

  1. Send your name and address to Flood Preparation and Safety, Pueblo, CO 81009.
  2. Visit http://pueblo.gsa.gov/rc/n95floodpreparationandsafety.htm to place your order.
  3. Call toll-free 1 (888) 8 PUEBLO. That’s 1 (888) 878-3256, weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time and ask for the Flood Preparation and Safety.

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