* Flood is typically not covered by your Allstate Homeowner Policy. Contact your Allstate agent for further information about a National Flood Insurance Policy.
Flooding may be localized or catastrophic. It may be part of a hurricane, thunderstorm, sudden thaw or other widespread disaster. Many floods arrive with advance warning so you can prepare. Weather forecasts will indicate that storms are on the way or that nearby rivers are rising because of a heavy run-off upstream. Depending on how much time you have, there are steps you can take to minimize any losses.
What to do before a flood:
Avoid building in a flood prone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home. Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if your home is susceptible to flooding. Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage. You can also consult with a professional plumber to install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
It's also important to be prepared for floods and have an emergency flood plan in place for your area.
What to do when a flood occurs:
Oftentimes when a flood occurs, homeowners have little time to even think. When a flood does occur, listen to the radio or television for more information.
Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings like rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you must evacuate:
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
What to do after a flood:
After the flood has taken place, it's important to listen for news reports to find out whether the community's water supply is safe to drink. Avoid moving water, as well as floodwaters because they can be contaminated or electrically charge. Also, be aware of areas where floodwaters have reced. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
In order to stay safe, avoid downed power lines and report them to the power company. Wait to return home until authorities have indicated it's safe.
In addition, keep these tips in mind:
- Stay out of buildings surrounded by floodwaters.
- Use extreme caution if entering flooded buildings.
- Be cautious when clearing or moving debris. Floodwaters may have carried animals or snakes into the area.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems.
- Consider contacting a professional water remediation vendor, and save your receipts.
Report your loss and check for damages
- If you purchased a National Flood Insurance Program policy through Allstate, contact your Allstate agent directly, report your claim online or call 800-54-STORM (800-547-8676).
- If your property suffered damage from wind, hail, fire, etc. which may be covered by your Allstate Homeowners policy, report the damage at the same time that you report your flood loss. Separate homeowner and flood claims will be established.
- If your vehicle was damaged due to perils covered by the comprehensive portion of your auto policy, report that too. An auto claim will be established.
- Make an inventory list of all damaged contents for your flood adjuster. Keep in mind that not all contents are destroyed by water so they may be able to be cleaned and disinfected.
- Look for holes in the roof, walls, or windows and cover them with boards, tarp, or plastic sheeting to prevent additional damage.
- Remove as much debris and mud as possible.
Learn more about flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) serviced by Allstate. Contact your Allstate agent for further information about purchasing a Flood policy.