1. Safeguard your possessions
Create a personal flood file containing information about all your valuable possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should include:
- 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
- Inspect your sump pump. If you have a sump pump, make sure it’s 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 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.
If you should sustain any damage, you can file a claim online through the BayCoast Insurance website. Just click the “File A Claim” link located on the homepage.