Steps You Can Take to Lessen the Devastation of Floods

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last several months, it’s highly unlikely you haven’t seen the devastation wrought by last October’s super-storm Sandy…and knowing what kind of devastation that Mother Nature can unleash (and that coverage for flooding is excluded from the standard homeowners policy), the prudent homeowner will likely purchase flood insurance in Connecticut.

When a major weather situation is brewing, information is typically communicated by federal organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—which ironically stopped broadcasting hurricane warnings when Sandy lost tropical characteristics in the hours before it made landfall, instead focusing on warnings about high winds and flooding. But don’t wait until the eleventh hour to have a plan to help safeguard your loved ones and your home.

Create a personal emergency file

This file should be kept in a secure, waterproof container such as a safe deposit box, and include copies of:

Coverage details and insurance agent contact information. You’ll want to contact your agent as soon as possible in the event you need to file a claim, and having the policy information at hand is extremely helpful.

Household inventory of all major items and valuables, including key information such as serial numbers, store receipts, and so on. It’s even better to augment the written records with videotape or photographs, making sure to capture the maker’s mark or serial number of the items as well.

Have an emergency plan

Set up a survival kit that includes a first-aid kit, drinking water, canned and dried food, blankets, flashlight and batteries (or a hand-cranked flashlight), and a radio.

Collect a list of emergency phone numbers for fire, police, poison control, and so on. Make sure children understand how (and when) to dial 911.

Plan an evacuation route for the family (including pets), and make sure you have a collapsible ladder or other exit means if you live in a two-story house. Establish a meeting place where everyone is instructed to assemble.

Have an out-of-state family member or friend established as an emergency contact, and make sure all family members know that person’s phone number by heart.

Contact your insurance agent to find out more about flood insurance in Connecticut and how you can protect yourself with this valuable coverage.