What to do before a flood
Take steps to protect your home, family, and financial security throughout the year, and take extra precautions when flooding is predicted in your area.
The best way to protect your home and belongings from flood damage is to purchase flood insurance – don’t let your hard work be washed away.
Here are a few steps you and your family can take to be ready for flooding:
Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Do an annual “insurance check-up” with your agent to make sure you have the right coverage and amounts of coverage.
Look up your address in the Flood Map Service Center to learn if you live, work, or travel in areas that are prone to flooding.
Take photos and videos of all major household items and valuables. Retain these documents in a safe place because they are important when filing insurance claims.
Save copies of birth certificates, passports, medical records, and insurance papers in a safe, dry place. Keep original documents in a watertight safety deposit box.
When flooding is imminent or predicted, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders are eligible to receive up to $1,000 to purchase loss avoidance supplies like tarps, sandbags, and more.
Steps to minimize your flood losses
Minimize your potential losses from flooding by taking the following steps:
Elevate and anchor your critical utilities, including electrical panels, propane tanks, sockets, wiring, appliances, and heating systems.
Install a water alarm and maintain a working sump pump to protect your basement. Install a battery-operated backup pump in case of power failure.
Make sure that you clear any debris from gutters and downspouts to avoid an accumulation of water.
When flooding is predicted or imminent, move furniture and valuables to a safe place, such as an attic or the highest floor of your home.
When flooding is imminent – take care of your physical safety
When a flood is imminent or occurring, your first priority should be the physical safety of you, your loved ones, and your pets.
Stay alert by monitoring the local news and weather reports and sign up for emergency alerts. Have a communication plan ready in the event of a power outage.
Additional resources for protecting your home
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards Resources for policyholders living in manufactured (mobile) home.
- Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage Information on protecting critical utilities, like water heaters and HVAC systems, from flood damage.
- Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated Mitigation options for homes that cannot be elevated.