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Would You be Prepared for Severe Storm Flooding

floodingRecently, here on the east coast of the United States, we have been faced with some severe weather.  We survived Hurricane Irene, and the rainy season continues.  What do you do when a severe storm is forecast? Although the full force of a hurricane or serious tornado might not be our usual weather parttern, severe thunderstorms are a frequent threat, here in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and surrounding areas. These storms often produce flooding; and with the stormy season now upon us, we must take precautions.

When severe storms occur, your first obligation is to protect yourself and your family. But then, as a homeowner, you must protect your home if flooding threatens.  So it’s more critical than ever for you to have the right insurance coverage.  Since flooding is typically not covered by your homeowners policy, you will need a separate flood insurance policy. Remember: Waiting until the water starts to rise before seeking flood insurance means that your largest investment – your home – will not be protected. Flood insurance requires a waiting period before it becomes active. 

There are several steps to take before flooding strikes to help you avoid costly mistakes and protect your loved ones.


Gather Insurance Policies and Important Documents

Create a home inventory including detailed descriptions of your belongings, and add photos if possible. Pull together your insurance policies as well as the contact information for your insurance agent along with financial records, medical records, records of major purchases such as vehicles, home, etc. Finally, put yourinventorie and documents into a safe deposit box or store them at home in a fireproof, waterproof sealed container. Most importantly, be sure that everyone who needs to have access to them knows where they can be found.


Prepare your Home for Flooding

A check with your state or local emergency planning agency will determine the maximum projected flood level for your area. Using that information, you can create a plan to move valuable items, furniture and appliances above that level if possible.  Depending on the severity of the flooding threat and the feasibility of doing so, you might consider raising your electrical outlets to a level above the projected flood level. 

A home Survival Kit is an essential part of your protection, and it should contain (at a minimum) canned food,drinking water and first aid supplies to support your family in the event you must sustain yourselves before help arrives or the flood subsides.   Your kit should include a flashlight, blankets, a radio, an extra cell phone and a supply of any prescription medications that your family requires. This kit should be stored in a safe, dry, cool place. It is wise to check it regularly, so that you can replace and replenish supplies if/as necessary.


Prepare Your Family For Possible Evacuation

You cannot depend upon the family being all together at home when storm flooding strikes.  So it is important to sit down with your family well in advance of any bad weather to create an emergency evacuation plan. Then, practice it periodically. Don't overlook the need to map out safe evacuation routes to higher ground from children’s schools and your workplaces as well as your home. Remember your pets in your plan. It is often easier to place a long distance call than communicate locally in a severe storm situation, so be sure to designated friend or relative who lives out of the area and who agrees to be your family contact in the event of disaster. Be sure everyone knows emergency phone numbers and how to get in touch with your designated contact person. 


Get More Details:

Here in Laurel, MD, at Community Insurance Services of Maryland, LLC, our experienced agents know about flood insurance and we know your community whether you live in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC.  Discuss your flood insurance questions with us. We look forward to having you contact us at your convenience.


Wednesday, 07 September 2011 21:10

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I've been with Ginger and CIS (Formerly H.T.Brown Insurance Agency) since November, 1994. Insurance for auto, home, business, and life are a critical part of our daily lives. We never plan on having to use insurance, but it gives me "peace of mind" to know that CIS and Ginger are there to assist. For over 17 years I can pick up the phone and speak with someone that knows me beyond a policy number. In an ever changing environment, it's nice to know they are there to answer my questions. I look forward to being with them for many more years to come. Thanks Ginger.--- Tony Sykesville