So it happened. That major storm that always seems to pass by, finally struck your home. Your home and all its contents are in shambles. What do you do now? Where do you start?

Start With Your Family: Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. Throw out foods and medicines (note: keep the medicine bottles) that may have come into contact with floodwater and wash your hands often with soap and clean water.  While you’re busy with this, don’t forget to talk to each other about your feelings and fears. Good communication will help to lessen the stress that comes from a disaster of this size.

Evaluate Your Home:  Proceed with caution. Walk carefully around the outside of your home and check for loose power lines and gas leaks. If anything seems awry, step away and call a professional immediately. Turn off gas and electricity.  When entering for the first time, use a flashlight instead of a match, lighter or candle. If there is a gas leak, the results could be disastrous.  Rescue the most valuable items, family heirlooms and remove wet items immediately.

Keep in mind; per policy you must protect your property from further damage. Also, if you tear out material, assure that a portion of the wall is left to show a clear waterline. It’s important to keep a sample of the flooring, baseboards, etc. to show to the adjusters and make sure to take photos of all contents! Lastly, keep all receipts from expenses to clean up or remediate.

Contact Your Agent: Your insurance agent will be your best guide through the process of filing a claim, documenting the damage, and starting the cleanup process. Make a recovery plan by first making a list of the damage, then deciding what you can fix and what needs to be contracted out. Make sure you are onsite when the adjustor visits your house. If you have a contractor that you’re working with, make sure that person is onsite as well.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your home and family even before a flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy. Don’t wait until a flood is imminent to purchase your policy because it takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to go into effect.

For more information, contact Bankers Insurance Group.

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