As the Winter snow melts, and the Spring rains fall, do you know if you are protected if your property is flooded?
Many homeowners believe that their homeowners insurance covers them from floods. However, they are very wrong. You must purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home and contents in the event of a flood. There are flood insurance policies for homeowners, renters, and condo owners.
So the next question is, “How do I know if I need Flood Insurance?”
FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes federally-backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. Flood insurance is available in most communities through insurance agents and is available whether the building is in or out of an identified flood-prone area.
To find out if your home or business is at risk for flood, FEMA has compiled flood hazard maps that outline your community’s different flood risk areas. Remember,
What to do to prepare yourself for the chance of a flood
After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety.
1. Safeguard your possessions.
Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:
1. A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information.
2. A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. For more information visit www.knowyourstuff.org.
2. Prepare your house.
1. First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
2. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
3. Anchor any fuel tanks.
4. Raise your electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
5. Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
6. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
3. Develop a family emergency plan.
1. Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
2. Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
3. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.
4. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
5. Have a plan to protect your pets.
For more information on emergency preparation, talk to your insurance agent or visit Ready.gov.
Read about Michigan’s Flood Facts here.
Read about how to stay safe During a Flood.