Natural disasters can do untold damage to a community, city, or even an entire region.
They can be even more devastating if you’re not prepared to handle them before and after.
Here’s how to deal with one natural disaster than can be particularly deadly.
Flooding is the costliest and most common natural disaster that affects the United States.
According to Pew, flooding cost Americans $260 billion in damages between 1980 and 2013.
For the year of 2016, FEMA reported a $4 billion loss in large part due to paying NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) claims.
Floods most commonly are associated with hurricanes, but they can strike anywhere.
This year, the Midwest was hit particularly hard by excessive flooding that put a heavy burden on the agricultural industry.
If you live in a region that’s susceptible to flooding, here are some tips to help you literally and figuratively weather the storm.
First, if your area receives a hurricane warning or a flash flood warning, be prepared to bug out.
Severe flooding will undoubtedly limit regular services and could make your home uninhabitable.
Don’t wait too long or get caught on the roads.
Next, be sure to have flood insurance.
Not all regions sell flood insurance, and if they don’t, that likely means there’s a minuscule chance of the area flooding, e.g. a high-altitude climate.
But if you live in a region like the southeast, you’re gambling if you don’t have flood insurance.
Even if you have insurance, you’ll still want to minimize damage to your home.
Move valuable items to higher ground so they aren’t destroyed.
Secure hazardous materials and electrical items which could make any damage that much worse.
Next, it’s a good idea to have before and after pictures of your home to help assess the worth of your valuables and show the full extent of any flood damage.
Take pictures to document make, model, and serial numbers for all of your big-ticket electronics such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers.
Taking pictures will give you a better chance of making sure there are no claim snags with your flood insurance provider.
Know your policy inside and outside so there are no surprises.
For example, some companies in some states may be able to deny a claim if damage is caused by “earth movement,” even if the earth movement is caused by the flood.
While these claim denials may be rare, don’t take any chances.
Don’t give them an excuse to avoid paying you what they owe you.
Also, be diligent about preventing the spread of mold damage.
NFIP claims can be denied in some instances if you didn’t make a concerted effort to stop mold from spreading wildly.
Finally, it’s a good idea to have a healthy stock of prepper supplies.
Even if your home or community isn’t hit too hard, other parts of the city could’ve been devastated, so there could be some disruption in local services.
Floods can be very scary, but if you take necessary precautions, you and your family can get through them in one piece.