In cases of severe flooding, the local authorities may issue evacuation orders. People who live in the evacuation zone may have to leave the area, or stay at their own risk.
It is often a good idea for you to evacuate ahead of rising waters. Emergency services may not be able to get to you if you become stranded inside a flooded property.
Preparations Before Evacuations
Before you evacuate, keep in mind that you need to secure your home. Doing so can protect your personal property from many different flood perils:
- Follow all evacuation orders listed by the local authorities.
- Gather excessively important belongings to take with you. These may include legal documents, identification, jewelry, art and other irreplaceable items. Store these items in strong arm boxes or portable safes while you travel.
- Photograph and catalog your personal property. In case of loss, proper documentation of value could help you claim insurance funds.
- Shut of your home’s electricity, HVAC, water and gas systems. Flooding may damage the systems, and even cause fires. Unplug and store every electronic in your home. Put plastic covers into wall sockets.
- Secure large, non-transportable items in waterproof areas. The best place to store items is usually in an elevated location, like an attic or upper floor. Consider moving furniture, appliances and all valuables to these areas.
- Make liberal use of your safe or deposit boxes.
- If you cannot move items to high ground, protect them as best you can. You can often wrap items like furniture in plastic to reduce some of the effects of water damage.
- Pack small furnishings in waterproof containers. Stack containers on top of counters or in elevated areas.
- Bring all outdoor furnishings and appliances indoors.
- Use recommended techniques to try to prevent water infiltration. You might dig drainage ditches, or use sandbags to create water barriers. Follow regulation when constructing these barriers.
- Post No Trespassing signs around the home.
- Board doors and windows shut with plywood. This may slow the flow of water. It can also help deter potential looters.
Remember, never return home until the authorities give you permission to do so.
Cover Your Insurance Liabilities
If you live in a flood area, consider investing in flood insurance. Your standard property insurance usually doesn’t cover flood damages. Check with your insurance provider to see if you have to have flood insurance by law.
Keep in mind, flood insurance usually comes with a cutoff period. That means that if a flood threatens, you likely can’t sign up for coverage a few days before the event. Establish coverage well before weather threatens.
If you need to evacuate, your policy may require you to take certain steps to secure the property. These steps might help reduce the extent of damages. Follow the requirements, and keep a copy of your flood policy with you during evacuation.
Knight-Dik Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you get a Worcester flood insurance policy that meets your needs. Call us at (508) 753-6353 for more information.