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what do you do in case of a flood

In Case of a Flood

How to Protect Your Family –and Yourself! 

Flood Watches and Warnings:

  • Weather experts issue flood watches when rains are heavy enough that rivers may overflow.
  • When meteorologists issue flood warnings, they will explain how severe the situation is and let you know where and when to expect flooding.
  • Weather experts issue watches for flash floods when they expect unusually heavy rains.
  • Meteorologists issue warnings for flash floods when flooding suddenly occurs. If you experience flash flooding, immediately move to the high ground.
  • Educate yourself and teach your family about the types of flood warnings in your community.


  • Plan evacuation routes from your home. Remember, some routes may be blocked.
  • Create a family communication plan; know what to do if you’re separated in a flood emergency.

Protect Your Property:

  • When you move into a new apartment, house, or business, be sure to purchase appropriate insurance. Independent insurance agents, local government officials, and bankers can help you understand your area’s level of flood risk.
  • Renters and Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude flooding damage. However, you can get this protection in the comprehensive part of your auto insurance policy. Certain special business insurance policies offer flood coverage.
  • The U.S. government offers flood insurance to renters, businesses, and homeowners. Purchase this coverage via your independent insurance agent; they can file your paperwork with the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). You can only get flood insurance coverage in areas where local governments have adopted proper floodplain management strategies under National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations. Most U.S. communities take part in this program.
  • Your flood insurance will cover physical damages and losses created by floods. You’re covered against flood erosion losses and damage from waves and water currents if they exceed normal cyclical levels and happen during severe storms, flash floods, abnormal tide surges, or similar flooding situations. Your flood insurance plan may also cover mudslide damages.
  • You can purchase separate coverage for the contents and structure of your home. Insurers cover the replacement costs of buildings; you can only get coverage for their contents on a cash value basis.
  • Be sure to keep emergency materials on hand:
  • A first-aid kit
  • Plywood and plastic sheeting
  • Hammers and Nails
  • Shovels and Sandbags
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • A battery- or dynamo-powered radio
  • Necessary medications
  • Sturdy, sensible shoes
  • Emergency water and food
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Have an expert install a system in your home to keep sewage from backing up into your drains.
  • Know how to switch off your water, gas, and electric utilities.
  • Inventory your possessions and keep a copy of this list off of your premises (safety deposit box, etc.). If your belongings are damaged, you can refer to this list to speed up the process of filing your insurance claim.  

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