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Educate Yourself And Make a Family Plan for 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:

  • A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information.
  • 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.
  • Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

2. Prepare your house.

  • 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.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Anchor any fuel tanks.
  • Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
  • Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop a family emergency plan.

  • Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911.
  • Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.
  • Have a plan to protect your pets.

For more information on emergency preparation, talk to your insurance agent at or visit


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Comments (1)

  1. pat madden says:

    Good info and nice start. This info and more should have come from FEMA and our local government before the floods not months after. There should be a handout or even a video on what to do if one is flooded and how to rebuild. Info such as proper steps to take for mold removal and proper materials to use when restoring one’s property. Electricians never mentioned raising outlets, plumbers never mentioned or even downplayed raising equipment. This lack of info is part of the cause for high insurance rates. There are youtube videos and websites for almost everything but this. I look back at the work I did and say how foolish not to take those steps but at the time was ill informed. The is a list of approved materials buried in a Fema . But contractors and remediation people do not agree with those recomendations. An example; use of concrete board for walls. How does one dry the wood and insulation behind it. Foam insulation the same thing plus there are conflicting claims of it being waterproof and it’s fire safety. Too much for a homeowner with little to no education. Still thanks for the headsup it’s a step in the right direction.