Record your possessions
Keep important information in a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should contain:
- A copy of important documents, including insurance policies
- A household inventory. Keep receipts and photograph/video records of major household items and valuables and have jewellery and artwork appraised and insured.
- Review your sum insureds to make sure that you are fully covered.
Weatherproof your house
- If doing roof repairs, install hurricane straps and fasten roof sheets with screws instead of nails.
- Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Weatherproof doors and make sure downspouts move water away from your house.
- Anchor any fuel tanks.
- Place your water heater at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Place toxic substance such as pesticides and insecticides on high shelves.
Develop a family emergency plan
- Create an emergency supply kit with drinking water, canned food and opener, first aid, a radio/flashlight with fresh batteries, clothes, copies of important documents including insurance policies, medication, bug spray, pet food all in plastic bags.
- Keep a backup battery charged.
- If you have elderly or disabled family members, post emergency telephone numbers by the phone.
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family and pets from home, work and school.
- Ask a relative or friend out of any flood zone to be your emergency family contact.
- Make or buy ice for your fridge and freezer.
- Stock up on water, canned food and medication and fill your gas tank.
- Charge cellphones and backup batteries.
- Move items off the floor or from under the bed.
- Monitor social media (WhatsApp, Facebook), radio or tv for road closures.
- If power goes, disconnect non-essential electrical appliances to prevent electrical shock when power returns. DO NOT touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- If flooding occurs, grab your evacuation bag and go to higher ground, avoiding areas subject to flooding or landslips. Leave a note stating when you left and where you went.
- Move your car to higher ground if flooding is likely. If your car is flooded, do not attempt to start it.
- Use social media to avoid floodwaters. Flood water may be contaminated or electrically charged.
- If you have walked in floodwaters, wash your hands and legs with soap and disinfected water.
PREVENT FURTHER LOSS
- Check for structural damage before re-entering your home. Use interim actions to stop further loss.
- If the main power switch was not turned off and your home is flooded, do not re-enter your home until a qualified electrician says it is safe because of the danger of electrical shock. DO NOT turn on your water pump until equipment has dried and been checked by a qualified electrician.
- Take photos of any flood water in your home and save any damaged personal property. Make a list of damaged or lost items.
- Remove wet contents. Use fans to dry out cupboards (provided the electrical outlets are safe).
- Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect.
- Disinfect walls, hard-surface floors and counters with a solution of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water.
- Store valuable papers that are wet in a freezer. NALIS (624-4466 Ext.2205/2221) restores water damaged documents.
FILE A CLAIM
- Call RMS to file a claim (625-1091 – 7; email@example.com). An adjuster should contact you within a few days. Make sure your house number/street name is visible (use permanent marker or paint).
- Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to review your repair estimate.
- Take photos of damaged items, discarded objects, structural damage and standing water levels.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items and get estimates of replacement costs.
- If possible, place flooded items outside of the home.
- Submit a claim form with an estimate of repairs or replacement items as soon as possible. If your car engine was flooded DO NOT attempt to start it, but have it towed to a garage.
- Remember, separate policy excesses will be deducted from claims for damage to your house, contents and car. Excesses for storm damage or water/flood damage caused by a storm or hurricane are subject to an excess of 2% of the sum insured.
Recovering from a disaster is difficult; make it easier by being prepared!