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Flooding 101

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Friday, March 27, 2015



Flooding 101
Flooded House

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), after a year-long study combining the efforts of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released a study showing risks from weather patterns and rising oceans along the 31,000 miles from North Carolina to New Hampshire. The “North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study” can be found here: http://www.nad.usace.army.mil/CompStudy.aspx

Though the study calls for efforts on individual, community, statewide and nationwide levels, it did not make recommendations or suggest solutions to safeguard the large vulnerable areas it found along the East Coast, including Washington, DC, New York City, Baltimore, MD and Norfolk, VA. In fairness to all the agencies participating in the study, Congress authorized the study but did not mandate recommendations or solutions.

What can you, an individual, do in the face of flooding?

First, though homeowners’ policies do not usually cover losses from flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA, can cover homes, condominiums, businesses, farms and rental units and their contents if your community participates in the program. The site has considerable information about NFIP and can be accessed here: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program

Secondly, keep detailed inventory of your insurable building’s contents, ideally including proofs of purchase, receipts, manufacturers’ names, serial numbers, model numbers, prices, dates and places of purchase.

Third, when warned of flooding and the need for evacuation: turn off utilities; close the main gas valve; avoid touching electrical equipment; move valuables and important papers (such as the inventory) to upper levels of your building; fill the bathtub, sink and jugs with clean water; protect windows with wood or tape; bring in or tie down outdoor possessions that might be thrown around by flooding.

Fourth, keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station for emergency instructions.

Fifth, if you are trapped by the flood, get to an upper floor or the roof and take warm clothes, a flashlight and a battery-powered radio with you and wait for rescue.

Sixth, if you are ordered to evacuate and can take a car, stock it with your written inventory, nonperishable food, a container of water, a first aid kit, blankets, dry clothing, special medications and blankets. Keep the gas tank at least half full, if possible, and if it stalls in flood water, leave it.

Seventh, if forced to walk, avoid walking through water that is more than knee-deep, if possible.

Eighth, after the flood, call the agent/broker handling your flood insurance and he/she will submit your Notice of Loss to the NFIP. Make sure the completed and signed Notice of Loss is submitted within 60 days of your loss.

Ninth, take pictures of all damage to the building (inside and out) and its contents before you begin that god-awful cleanup.

Tenth, separate damaged from undamaged property and use your written inventory to assist the claims NFIP claims adjuster who will visit your property and determine whether you will immediately need advance or partial payment and the total payment for your claim.

DO’S AND DON’TS


DO visit the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) web page here: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program

DO keep detailed inventory of your insurable building’s contents

DO when warned of flooding and the need for evacuation: turn off utilities; close the main gas valve; avoid touching electrical equipment; move valuables and important papers (such as the inventory) to upper levels of your building; fill the bathtub, sink and jugs with clean water; protect windows with wood or tape; bring in or tie down outdoor possessions that might be thrown around by flooding.

DO keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station for emergency instructions.

DO, if trapped by the flood, get to an upper floor or the roof and take warm clothes, a flashlight and a battery-powered radio with you and wait for rescue.

DO, if you are ordered to evacuate and can take a car, stock it with your written inventory, nonperishable food, a container of water, a first aid kit, blankets, dry clothing, special medications and blankets. Keep the gas tank at least half full, if possible, and if it stalls in flood water, leave it.

DO, if forced to walk, avoid walking through water that is more than knee-deep, if possible.

DO, after the flood, call the agent/broker handling your flood insurance and he/she will submit your Notice of Loss to the NFIP. Make sure the completed and signed Notice of Loss is submitted within 60 days of your loss.

DO take pictures of all damage to the building (inside and out) and its contents before you begin that god-awful cleanup.

DO separate damaged from undamaged property and use your written inventory

DO assist the claims NFIP claims adjuster who will visit your property and determine whether you will immediately need advance or partial payment and the total payment for your claim.

By Kathy Catanzarite


Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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