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Prepare for a Flood

Floods can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. Especially during the spring flooding season, it’s essential that you prepare for a flood in the event a flood was to strike your community.

 If you already have coverage, speak with your agent to ensure that it is adequate to cover your property in the event of a flood. If you don’t have flood coverage and are located in a flood-prone area, talk with your insurance agent about obtaining this coverage. If you need to purchase a policy, keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period, so taking action before there is a flooding threat is key.

Be Prepared

You can start preparing for the flood long before it hits. Things to consider include the following:

  • Know the emergency plans of the community in which you live. This includes warnings, locations of emergency shelters and evacuation routes.
  • Plan an evacuation route for your employees.
  • Post emergency numbers by every phone.
  • Install sump pumps with back-up power and a water alarm in the basement, and purchase a fire extinguisher.
  • Anchor fuel tanks. If torn free, these tanks can contaminate your basement or damage other houses if swept downstream.
  • Raise electrical switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least 12 inches above your property's projected flood elevation.

Take Action

Once you know that a flood is imminent, follow these steps:

  • Gather emergency supplies and watch the news for any updates. Supplies should include clean drinking water, non-perishable food, First Aid kit, personal hygiene items and clothing, a blanket, and a battery-powered radio and flashlight.
  • Bring outdoor items, including lawn furniture, trash cans and grills, inside or securely tie them down.
  • Revisit your evacuation plan in case it is required.

Evacuate Safely

If the flooding becomes enough of a threat that evacuation is necessary, follow these safety procedures:

  • Never ignore an evacuation order. Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
  • Prepare your car by filling it with gas and stocking it with your emergency supplies. If you do not have a car, make other arrangements for transportation so you can evacuate safely and in a timely manner. Take only essential items with you.
  • Fill water containers with clean water, and gather important documents, such as your insurance card, an ID and medical information.
  • Identify a pet-friendly shelter if you have this need. Some emergency shelters cannot accept pets due to food and sanitation requirements. If there is not a pet shelter in your area, put family pets and/or other livestock in a safe area.
  • Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates on the weather.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water, if possible. If there is not enough time, turn your thermostat and refrigerator down to their lowest settings.
  • Follow designated evacuation routes. Do not attempt to drive or walk over flooded roads or creeks.

Flooding damage can be devastating to your community. While you can’t stop the rain from coming, you can help manage the effects of the storm by being prepared and having a plan. Thinking ahead will help you protect what matters most.

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.