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Preparing for Flood Season

planning ahead // Natalie McCormick on Thursday April 16, 2015

Flooding can happen any time, any place, and in a matter of minutes your home or business may be submerged in water.  Floods are devastating.  Lives have been lost, homes demolished and businesses left beyond repair.  In the past five years, all 50 states have experienced flooding, which proves you don’t have to live near water to be at risk. 

Prepare
Safeguard your home and family long before a flood hits by considering the following:

  • Know the emergency plans of the community in which you live.  This includes warnings, locations of emergency shelters and evacuation routes. 
  • Create an evacuation plan for your family and designate an out-of-state relative or friend to be your ‘family contact’ so everyone knows where to meet in case of separation. 
  • Inform local authorities of any family members with special needs.
  • Prepare a safety plan for any family pets or livestock.
  • Post emergency numbers by every phone.
  • Install sump pumps with back-up power and a water alarm in the basement.  Also, consider purchasing a fire extinguisher.
  • Anchor fuel tanks.  If torn free, these tanks can contaminate your basement or damage other houses if swept away.
  • Raise electrical switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.  

Act
Once you know a flood is imminent, follow the following steps:

  • Gather emergency supplies and watch the news for updates.  Your supplies should include clean drinking water, non-perishable food, First Aid kit, personal hygiene items and clothing, a blanket, and a battery-operated radio and flashlight. 
  • Bring outdoor items, including lawn furniture, trash cans and grills, inside or securely tie them down.
  • Revisit your evacuation plan.

Evacuate
If evacuation is necessary, follow these safety procedures:

  • Listen and follow evacuation instructions from emergency officials.  Do not attempt to re-enter an evacuated area until you’ve been instructed to do so.

  • Prepare your car by filling it with gas and stocking it with your emergency supplies.  If you do not have a car, make other arrangements so you can evacuate in a timely manner. 

  • Fill water containers with clean water and gather important documents, such as your insurance card, ID and medical information. Only take the essential items with you.

  • If you have a pet, identify a pet-friendly shelter.  If there is not a shelter in your area, put family pets and/or livestock in a safe area.

  • Turn off gas, electricity and water.  If you do not have enough time, simply turn your thermostat and refrigerator down to their lowest settings.

  • Follow designated evacuation routes.  Do not attempt to walk or drive over flooded roads.

Flooding can be devastating to your home and community.  You can help manage the effects of the storm by being prepared and having a plan.  

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

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Pearson & Company Insurance, Inc.
2210 13th Street
Meridian, MS 39301

Phone: 601-482-6699
Fax: 601-482-1526
Email: hmpearson@bellsouth.net
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