- Stay away from flood waters.
- Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine any premises left vacant during the storm. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and evacuate. If you have any concerns, have the gas system checked by a professional.
- Do not touch wires or outlets; Check for frayed cords and for cracked or broken prongs and plugs
- Turn off the main electrical circuit switch. Be careful to stand on a dry surface and do not touch the metal handle of the switch box. Use a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or a piece of dry wood to open the metal door and throw the switch. Share your concerns with a licensed electrician.
- If your home has been flooded, check for animals that may have entered the property.
- If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.
- Before you start cleaning up debris, prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
- Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
- Clean up any flammable or poisonous materials that may have been spilled.
- Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
- Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
- Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
- Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
- Hold off on permanent repairs until you’ve received approval for reimbursement.
- Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
- Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
- Keep all receipts.
- Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you’ve examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.