Prepare Your Home, Family, and Business for a Flood

Prepare Your Home, Family, and Business for a Flood

Prepare Your Home

Emergency Back-up Generator

Power outages can leave your home without power for several days or even weeks. A back-up power source, such as a generator, that is capable of providing power to parts or the entire home can keep your home operating properly. It is important to have a service contract for your generator and to test it regularly.

Prepare Your Home for Responder

If your property is gated, you need to have a way for police and fire departments to access your home in an emergency, such as a Knox box. Ensure your property is clearly marked with street numbers so emergency services and responders can easily identify your location.

Valuables

The most effective emergency plans are customized for the collection and each object in it. To begin, complete the following steps:

  • Maintain a current and complete inventory. In the event of significant loss, a detailed inventory may help to facilitate the claims process. The format can range from a simple list or spreadsheet to a comprehensive collections management database, but be sure to include the following:
    • A description of each object including author, title, materials, dimensions, date, physical characteristics and any integral parts, such as the framing, base, stand and original packaging.
    • A detailed location description of every object.
    • Images to help identify objects.
  • Have current insurance valuations for each object. Current valuations help ensure your collection is adequately insured. hey may also assist during the claims process in the unfortunate event of damage or loss. Appraisals should be updated every three to five years. The appraiser can also determine optimal storage environments if objects need to be moved and/or stored as part of your emergency plan. Consult your preferred appraiser to find out what is recommended for the works in your collection.
  • Identify and engage service providers. In addition to conservators, fine art service providers typically include consultants, art handlers, transit companies, storage facilities and security companies. These experts can be critical resources in creating and implementing an effective emergency plan.
  • Pro-actively eliminate unnecessary hazards around your collection. If there are oil-based paint, solvents or flammables on your property, store them in a fire-proof cabinet or container because these items can spontaneously combust.

Personal Documents

Personal documents are some of your most valuable and difficult items to replace. Protect the following documents in a bank safe deposit box, other off-site storage or in waterproof containers. You may also scan these items to keep an electronic copy on a flash drive for easy access.

Personal Items

Birth certificates, marriage licenses, immunization records, pet vaccinations, photos that would be difficult to replace

Legal Papers

Deeds, titles for vehicles and boats, living wills, passports, military records, powers of attorney, child custody or divorce records

Insurance

Copies of all policies, including homes, vehicles, boats, health, life, along with appraisals, home inventory (photos or video of your home’s contents) and pertinent contact numbers

Financial Documents

Stock and bond certificates, account numbers with contact information, first two pages of your latest income taxes, backup disc of financial management software

Understanding Your Coverage

  • Review your policies with your insurance broker to ensure you understand the amount you will receive in the event of a covered loss and if it will be adequate to rebuild your home. Also, know the deductibles, special provisions such as building code upgrades, replacement cost extension, replacement cost coverage, additional living expenses and additional policy information (i.e. flood policies, collections, etc.).
  • Know your responsibilities, such as making arrangements to have your home secured. If away, verify emergency generators and sump pumps are functioning.
  • Include your insurance company’s toll-free claims number and insurance broker’s name in your emergency kit.

Plan Ahead

In the Event of an Evacuation

  • Become familiar with your community’s disaster preparedness plan.
  • Know your evacuation route and have a predetermined destination in mind.
  • Select a point of contact and common meeting place if separated during the evacuation.
  • All vehicles should be well fueled. Gas will be scarce.
  • Make sure you bring essential items (including cell phone, flashlight, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] radio).

If You are Unable to Evacuate

  • Identify a “shelter” area at a higher level of the home but not an enclosed room, such as an attic. In the event the water reaches that level, you could become trapped.
  • Remain in contact with neighbors who are staying in their home during the storm.
  • Park your vehicle, on high ground if possible. Remove insurance information from the car for safe keeping, and take pictures of your car before the storm.
  • Make arrangements to use alternative means of communication.
  • When flooding threatens the home, turn off electricity at the main breaker. Unplug or turn off major appliances.

Prepare Your Business For a Flood

  • Verify all employee, supplier and vendor contact information is correct and up-to-date so you can communicate next steps for resuming normal business operations in the event of a disaster. Use the downtime before the storm hits to update your supplier and vendor contact information, as well as other important contacts, such as your bank or insurance carriers.
  • Determine which members of your staff will need to carry out flood preparations and who you can reasonably expect to be available.
  • Develop a simple written plan that incorporates a set of specific flood task assignments for your staff. Include who to notify and what measures to take to preserve life and limit property losses.
  • Establish communication procedures to account for employees and disseminate information. Decide on a communications strategy to clients.
  • Ensure that employees who are on site during a storm have potable water, nonperishable food, first aid kits, phones, radios, flashlights and other supplies.
  • Identify an alternative site for business operations should your facility be unavailable following the storm. Contact the recovery location provider before the flooding season starts so that you can review plans and ensure that your requirements are still being met.

Essential Equipment For Your Business

  • Obtain several battery-operated radios and spare batteries to ensure you can receive emergency information. Have at least one radio on site that can receive NOAA weather radio frequencies.
  • Procure sufficient flashlights and other battery-powered lights to allow essential work to be conducted in the event of power outage. Ensure a good supply of fresh batteries are always on hand.
  • Compile your disaster supply kit and have it on hand and ready for emergencies.
  • Have an ample supply of brooms, squeegees, mops and absorbents to remove water.
  • A small emergency generator may be useful. The power may go out and be out for an extended period. An emergency generator will allow you to maintain lighting, recharge battery-powered equipment, and power pumps and tools which may be needed for expedient repairs after the flood.

Facility Preparation

  • Know the vulnerability of your business. Geographical information and infrastructure knowledge of your location will be of great benefit.
  • Review your list of major equipment and furnishings to determine which items need to be protected or removed and how you plan to do it.
  • Review plan for mitigating property damage before storm hits and for recovery post storm.
  • Ensure storm monitoring systems are operating efficiently to enable sufficient time for an organized shutdown if needed.
  • Identify security resources, such as additional manpower that may be needed.

Understanding Your Commercial Insurance Coverage & Claim Preparation

  • Review your policies with your insurance broker to ensure you understand the amount you will receive in the event of a covered loss.
  • Review policy deductibles, special provisions and loss-reporting provisions (especially important on National Flood policies).
  • Determine if flood is a covered peril or is excluded.
  • Know how the building property is valued under the policy.
  • Examine business interruption / time element coverage details.
  • Include your insurance company’s toll-free claims number and insurance broker’s name in your emergency kit. Meet with insurers to set claim management protocols. Determine who will represent them at your organization during the claim adjustment process.
  • Review and update procedures and responsibilities for gathering and processing claim information. This should include a list of outside resources needed for recovery.
  • Determine if all asset values are current for potential claims, including property damage or business interruption.

Plan Ahead

In the event of an evacuation

  • Become familiar with your business’ disaster preparedness plan.
  • Know your evacuation route and have a predetermined destination in mind.
  • Select a point of contact and common meeting place if separated during the evacuation.
  • Make sure you bring essential items (including cell phone, flashlight, and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] radio)

If you are unable to evacuate

  • Identify a “shelter” area at a higher level of the business but not an enclosed room, such as an attic. In the event the water reaches that level, you could become trapped.
  • Park your vehicle, on high ground if possible. Remove insurance information from the car for safe keeping, and take pictures of your car before the storm.
  • Make arrangements to use alternative means of communication.
  • When flooding threatens the business, turn off electricity at the main breaker. Unplug or turn off major appliances.

Learn More!

https://www.ready.gov/floods

Contact us for more tips and information about how to stay safe during extreme weather events and natural disasters.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. BRPGroup, Inc. and its affiliates, do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal or accounting professionals before engaging in any transaction.

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