Here in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, the stormy season is upon us. With storms from severe thunderstorms to hurricanes to tornados we often have flooding. In fact, we are all at risk this time of year.
If you are a homeowner, you not only must protect yourself and your family, you must protect your home from the threat that flooding brings. So you must be sure that you have the right insurance coverage. You should know that flooding is typically not covered by your homeowners policy. Instead, you will need a separate flood insurance policy. But don’t make the mistake of waiting until the water starts to rise – flood insurance requires a waiting period before it becomes active.
To avoid costly mistakes and protect your loved ones, consider the following steps to take before flooding strikes.
Collect Important Documents
Pull together your insurance policies and contact information for your insurance agent, financial records, medical records, records of major purchases such as vehicles, home, etc. You will also want to create a home inventory with photos and detailed descriptions of your belongings. Then, put your documents and inventories in a safe deposit box or store them at home in a fireproof, waterproof sealed container and be sure that everyone knows where they are stored.
Prepare your Home
Determine the maximum projected flood level for your area and create a plan to move your furniture and valuables to a flood above that level if possible. If flooding is likely in your area, consider elevating your appliances and even your electrical outlets to a level above the projected flood level if possible. Develop a Survival Kit with sufficient drinking water, canned food and first aid supplies to serve your family. Include blankets, an extra cell phone, a radio, a flashlight and if possible a supply of any prescription medications that your family requires. Store your kit in a safe, dry, cool place and check it, replacing and replenishing as necessary.
Prepare Your Family
Develop an emergency evacuation plan and practice it periodically, including designating safe evacuation routes to higher ground from workplaces, childrens’ schools as well as your home. Include provisions for your pets in your plan. Be sure everyone knows emergency phone numbers and the contact information for a designated friend or relative who lives out of the area and who agrees to be your family contact in the event of disaster.
Get More Details:
Visit FloodSmart, an online resource for consumers provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for much more information, checklists, questions/answers, flood insurance details and much more.
Visit Know Your Stuff (a feature of the Insurance Information Institute) for everything you'll need to create your detailed home inventory.
Here in Timonium, MD, at the Sparks Insurance Agency, our experienced agents know about flood insurance and we know your community whether you are live in Maryland, Virginia or Pennsylvania. We welcome your questions about flood insurance and look forward to having you contact us at your convenience.