Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prepare for Rising Water

Precautions taken at the first sign of rising water can help save lives and help minimize damage during a flood. Typically, your standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover flood damage, though federal flood insurance is available through most insurance agencies, if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. If you have flood insurance, your agent will advise you how to file a claim.

Whether you have flood insurance or not, Allstate recommends you take the following steps as soon as a flood watch is issued, or news of rising water hits, which may prevent thousands of dollars in unnecessary damage.

-- Keep informed by listening to a battery-operated radio. That way, you
can track the storm or follow the progress of rising water and make a
better decision about any further action that you should take,
including the possibility of evacuating your home.

-- Fill bathtubs, sinks and containers with clean water so you will have
a ready supply in case the community's water supply becomes

-- Move outdoor possessions indoors, such as patio furniture, chairs and

-- Elevate valuable furnishings and possessions from basements or first
floors to upper floors or move them away to higher ground if you have

-- If advised by local authorities, shut off all utilities including gas,
electricity and water.

-- Prepare to evacuate by gathering your emergency supplies. Don't forget
flashlights and extra batteries, essential medicines, cash, credit
cards, food, water and a battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
If you have pets, make sure they have an adequate supply of food and
water, in a safe place, on an upper floor, or prepare to take the pets
and such provisions with you. Do not leave pets chained or fenced

-- Once rising waters reach your home, school or business, your first
priority is occupant safety. If you're advised to leave, do so
immediately and follow the evacuation instructions given. Travel to
higher ground by whatever means is available and stay there. The
sooner you leave the better your chances of avoiding flooded,
congested roads.

-- Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. Turn around and go
another way. If your car stalls, leave it immediately and walk to
higher ground. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else
during floods.

-- If avoidable, do not attempt to walk through floodwater. Drowning is
the top cause of death during floods, in many cases because people
underestimate the power of even a small amount of water. A mere six
inches of quickly flowing water can knock you down. In areas covered
by standing water, use a long pole or stick to make sure the ground is
firm. Be especially cautious with children.

Information on the National Flood Insurance Program can be found at

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