Here are some steps that you should take if you recently experienced flooding:
- Take photos and videos to document the damage to your property. You will also need to make a list of all items damaged, destroyed, or lost.
- Call your insurance agent and ask them if you have flood insurance and what you need to do in order to file a claim.
- Before doing any cleaning make sure that it is safe to do so. Make sure that any buildings are structurally sound and that they aren't about to collapse. Also the electricity and gas need to be secured so that there aren't any chances of accidental electrocution, or fire.
- Wear appropriate safety gear (like masks, gloves, and boots) when cleaning and removing items.
If you have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) you will need to contact your insurance agent about submitting a claim. Please be aware that most homeowner's insurance policies don't cover damages from flooding. So if you don't have a separate flood insurance policy you are going to have to pay for the cleanup and repair of your home.
Find out more at floodsmart.gov.
- Filing Your Flood Insurance Claim Fact Sheet (PDF)
- National Flood Insurance Program Flood Claims Handbook English (PDF)
- National Flood Insurance Program Flood Claims Handbook Spanish (PDF)
- National Flood Insurance Program Flood Summary of Coverage English (PDF)
- National Flood Insurance Program Flood Summary of Coverage Spanish (PDF)
Rebuilding Your Home
Depending upon how severe your home was damaged, you may need to obtain building permit before starting any reconstruction work. If your home was damaged substantially enough you may be required to make changes to it in order to lessen its flood risk. Check with your community's building department before starting any repairs.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has many publications that offer information on ways to reduce the vulnerability of your home to flooding.