Hurricane Recovery: What to Do if Your Home Floods

Hurricane Recovery: What to Do if Your Home Floods

Hurricane Recovery: What to Do if Your Home Floods

Hurricanes are one of nature's most destructive forces, and in 2022 alone, hurricanes were responsible for causing an estimated $120 billion in damages. Strong winds make up one-half of a hurricane's destructive potential, but the other half is the potential for heavy flooding created by the torrential rains that hurricanes can bring.

When recovering from a hurricane, dealing with flood damage is often one of the most challenging and costly obstacles. To help you deal with this difficult situation in the best way possible, here are four tips for what to do if your home floods due to a hurricane, according to advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

1) Returning Home Safely

If you've evacuated your home during a hurricane, it is essential only to return when authorities say it is safe. When making the trip back, it's also important to drive carefully and avoid driving through standing water. Be on the lookout for other hazards, such as road debris or downed power lines.

2) Safely Entering a Flooded Home

You'll need to take precautions when entering a home that has been flooded due to a hurricane. Avoid wading in floodwater, as it can be contaminated or contain dangerous debris. It may also be electrically charged if the water is in contact with exposed electrical wires, so it's a good idea to turn the power to your home off before entering if you can safely do so.

Avoid drinking the floodwater or using it for any purpose, and listen for boil water advisories, as your home's tap water may not be safe to drink immediately following a hurricane either. Lastly, you'll want to avoid lighting any candles or other open flames in your home since combustible gasses may be trapped inside.

3) Recovery and Restoration

Once you've had a chance to assess the damage, it's time to begin the recovery and restoration process. There are a few things that you may be able to do on your own, such as moving furniture and other items out of floodwaters and beginning the drying process. However, you will likely need to work with a water damage restoration company to fully repair your home and belongings.

As for food and beverages in your home during the flood, stick to this rule of thumb: When in doubt, throw it out! Any food or beverages that have come into contact with floodwater should be disposed of even if they appear unharmed.

4) Contacting Your Insurance Provider

The final step you should take when recovering from flood damage caused by a hurricane is to contact your insurance company and file a claim. Take pictures of the damage to your home and belongings and be sure to be as detailed as possible when filing your claim.

If you don't already have a homeowner's insurance policy (or if you are looking for a more affordable and comprehensive option), we at National General are able to help! To learn more about our industry-leading homeowners insurance policies, contact your local National General agent today!