A flood is a natural disaster that no homeowner wants to think about. The idea of your bedroom, living room, your landscaping, and possibly all of your possessions being underwater is a horrifying one. Although we drink it, wash our clothes in it, and spray it on our lawns, water can be a destructive force. The best defense against flooding is to be prepared. A good home flood insurance policy is absolutely necessary, but it won’t keep the flood from happening.

If flooding does occur, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Keep this list handy so that you take the proper steps to protect yourself and utilize your home flood insurance policy in the 24 hours after a flood.

Return With Caution

As we’ve discussed in the past, there are various causes and levels of severity when it comes to flooding. Flooding isn’t always the result of a natural disaster. Ground water, falling water from melting ice or snow, and problems with a home water system are all potential causes for flooding. No matter what the cause, if the flood forced you to abandon your home for a period of time, you need to use caution when you return.

According to FEMA, you should always “check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines.”

Take Lots Of Pictures

Seeing your home in such a state of disrepair can be stressful and depressing. You might want to start cleaning up and fixing the damage right away, but it’s important to resist this urge. It’s absolutely essential that you take the time to document what’s happened for your home flood insurance company through photographs.

Treat Everything Like A Hazard

It may look like clean water, but the floodwater inside your dwelling is anything but clean. You should always assume that the water inside your home is hazardous. It could possibly contain chemicals or even sewage. Protect yourself with boots, gloves, waders, and even a respirator mask before entering the water.

Call Your Home Flood Insurance Company

Contacting your home flood insurance company to begin a claim must happen within the first 24 hours after a flood. If many people in your area experienced the same disaster, flood insurance companies are going to be overwhelmed with the sudden influx of claims and you want to make sure yours is at the top of the list.

“Advise your insurance representative of the state of your home and any repairs you intend to do immediately. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs,” Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness, told HouseLogic.com. “Document the damage and conversations at every stage of the process.”

Make Plans To Remove The Water

Once you receive approval to do so from your home flood insurance company, you should begin making plans to remove the water from your home, assuming it hasn’t receded on its own. Sump pumps, shop vacs, and other tools available at your local home improvement store can be useful for removing small to moderate amounts of water. For larger disasters, professional help may be needed.

Do you have the home flood insurance coverage that you need to be protected in the case of a flood? If not, contact Superior Flood Inc. to get the best coverage for less.