It’s a scary thought, but it’s true: Floods can happen anytime, anywhere. They can come with little or no warning. And they can leave a heap of destruction in their wake.
Based on this unpredictability and potential devastation, protecting your home against flood damage is absolutely necessary. Here are five important ways to be prepared and get protected.
1. Find out if you live in an NFIP community.
Check with your insurance agent to see if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If it does, you’re eligible to buy flood insurance. You’ll also be identified as living in a high-risk zone or a low-risk zone. An insurance company will consider this zone and the value of your home when determining your premium.
2. Know if parts of your home are below base flood elevation.
If you live in a home with a basement or other area that could possibly be below base flood elevation (the elevation a flood with a one-percent annual chance of occurring will reach), it’s a good idea to use water-resistant building materials in this area. If you’re building or remodeling a home with a basement that’s below base flood elevation, consider leaving the floors unfinished (no carpets or flooring, just the bare foundation). You may also want to think about installing French drains or a sump pump.
3. Plan for a flood before it happens.
Before the threat of a flood presents itself, it’s important to come up with a plan so you and your family are prepared. Make sure everyone’s familiar with alternate escape routes from your home and your neighborhood and designate a meeting place in case your family gets separated.
4. Make a list of everything you own.
Taking a thorough inventory of all the items in your home is a huge time saver in case of a flood. By listing your possessions in advance, you and your insurance agent will save a lot of time and you can file a claim much faster.
5. Listen to the pros.
When extreme weather like flooding happens, follow the advice of local authorities and weather personnel. If they say to evacuate, gather what you can and leave the area as soon as possible. Do not make plans that go against the recommendations of these professionals. Listen and follow their advice—for the sake of your home, your possessions, your family and your life.
In case you weren’t aware, your homeowners’ insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding. It’s something you need to purchase separately. Alfa® offers affordable flood insurance to help protect you against this devastating disaster. Contact your local Alfa agent today.