NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is predicting historic and wide spread flooding this spring, due in part to above average precipitation through May. While our immediate region is not in the riskiest area, it’s still important that we are prepared, especially since flooding season rolls right into hurricane season! Let’s look at steps you should take to prepare for yourself and your family.
- First and foremost, make sure you have the right insurance coverage with appropriate limits for your needs. It’s important to remember that standard insurance policies specifically exclude flood damage. Talk to your agent about your flood risks and the benefits of a flood policy.
- Make sure you have your insurance policy information and claims contact numbers. Put this information in your cell phone, so you will always have it with you. Also, have the 24-hour contact information for a disaster recovery company in case you sustain damage, taking swift action to mitigate further damage is important.
- Back up and protect your important documents/information critical to your personal life. It is recommended that you back-up your personal data/documents to a cloud and/or a portable drive that is stored safely away from potential flooding.
- Establish your emergency plan for your entire family (including your pets) and review the plan with everyone! Ready.Gov has excellent planning tools for everyone.
- If you are ordered to evacuate and time allows you should:
- Actually leave! Please be aware that when an evacuation order is given it is done so to protect the residents as well as emergency responders. If you do not leave, emergency responders will NOT come to help you until an all-clear for the area is given.
- Message your out of state contact to provide details of where you are evacuating.
- Lock all doors and windows before leaving your home.
- Take your emergency “bug out” bag/boxes.
- Unplug as many electrical items as possible (leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in UNLESS they are in an area that may flood).
- Consider turning off the main switches for power, gas and/or water before leaving.
- Leave a note on your front door that your home has been evacuated and prepared (i.e. if you turned off water/power/gas) with your contact number. This will help emergency responders work more efficiently.
Preparing now and reviewing your plans with your family/household members will save you precious time if an emergency occurs.