Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storm Damage

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can strike your commercial property at any time. Water damage can sideline your business, regardless of if the damage occurs from a major storm event or a broken water line. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when you have an emergency water event, SERVPRO of Allentown Central and Western Lehigh County Franchise Professionals offer fast, 24 hour emergency services, 365 days per year.

Here are some tips:

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

Storms

9/30/2021 (Permalink)

When you think of storms you might think of rain, however strong winds can easily knock down power lines and cause fires that can destroy homes and make life difficult. You cant always plan for when disasters will strike, but you can be prepared for what to do after your home or business has been affected by storm damage. At SERVPRO of Carbon County we want you to know that we have years of experience in cleaning up messes that a storm can leave behind. Whether your house is flooded from heavy rains or there's a hole in your roof from a tree falling down we have the equipment and expert man power for the job. We can handle all of your problems and needs quickly and thoroughly to ensure that your normal life whether at home or at your business is back up and running.

Storm Damage - Tips

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

As we experienced flooding in the past couple of weeks, you might have flooding in your home. It is important to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Allentown and Western Lehigh County to properly clean up your property. In the meantime, here are some tips to keep in mind when flooding occurs in your home.

If you are using a generator, always leave it outside of the home. As you may know, generators use gases that can be extremely dangerous to expose yourself or your family to. In addition, you do not want to leave a generator outside of an open window, as the fumes can still come into the home.

After a flood, your drinking well water may have been contaminated with waterborne pathogens. Do not drink or cook with this water if it is contaminated.

Storm? Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County!

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is here for you, your loved ones and your home. We know storms can be devastating and leave you with nothing. We want to take the time to share some information about what to do when you are experiencing a storm. 

What to Do After a Hurricane

Find your loved ones. ...

Don't go home until it's safe. ...

Document the damage. ...

Contact your insurance company. ...

Apply for assistance. ...

Stay out of the water. ...

Prevent further damage. ...

Listen to local clean up news and advisories.

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage. So, if hurricane winds or tornadoes wreck your home, you should be OK. However, if a storm surge or flood carries off your house, a standard policy won't make you whole. You'll still have a mortgage if your house is destroyed by flooding.

Fill your bathtub with water, unless you have little children. This water can be used for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

Stay Safe After a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm

Stay out of floodwater.

Never use a wet electrical device.

If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Be careful near damaged buildings.

Stay away from power lines.

Protect yourself from animals and pests.

Drink safe water. Eat safe food.

If you have no flood insurance, FEMA's IHP grant will help you in a specific set of ways after a flood or other disaster. ... This is much less coverage than NFIP flood insurance, which covers up to $250,000 to repair or replace your home and belongings.

Once the storm clears, call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to help you!

Storm Damage!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. We have highly trained staff and specialized equipment to restore your property!  We have 24 hour emergency service. 

Faster to any disaster: 

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Storms: 

When storms hit Lehigh County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

We can help you with your storm damage! Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774!

Storm Damage Professionals!

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Storms occur and we will be able to respond quickly to any disaster! We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.

At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County, we can restore storm and flood-damaged properties. Our highly trained professionals have the skills and expertise to restore your home or business. We can mitigate, remediate, abate, cleanup, and reconstruction services. 

Locally owned company with National Storm resources: 

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. We take pride in being a part of the Emmaus community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

We are proud to serve our local communities: Emmaus, Macungie, Fogelsville, Zionsville, Coopersburg, Center Valley, Alburtis, Breingsville and Trexlertown.

Storm Damage? SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County can help!

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

A storm can cause damage to your house or business. When damage occurs you need to take action quickly. You may feel stressed after your property was affected by a storm. However, it needs to be handled fast and effectively. First, check how much damage is done. It is important to check every inch of your property to ensure proper repairs are made. 

Safety first! When you are checking the damage you should avoid electrical equipment. If you observe any cracks on the roof, do not stand under or close to the affected area. 

Contact your insurance! As you are in the house, you will want to take pictures as proof of damage for your insurance company. In addition, they will most likely send an insurance adjuster to your property to examine the damage. 

You will want to call professionals in to clean and restore your home. Who are you going to call? SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County! Why SERVPRO? You should call us because we are faster to any size disaster and offer 24-hour emergency service! 

Call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County at 610-776-7774!

How do you prepare for when disaster strikes?

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. 

Sourced from www.Everydayhealth.com, below are 4 things to do before a disaster strikes:

1. Learn Evacuation routes: Be sure to contact your local officials and find out how you should get out of your area if you need to.

2. Have a family emergency plan: it down and talk about the emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area. Determine how your family will react in each situation.

3. Assemble an emergency kit: In a tote or other easy-to-carry bag, store copies of important documents such as birth certificates, photo identification, medical cards, cash and extra checks, spare keys, an extra supply of prescription medications, a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food (don't forget pet food), a first-aide kit a flashlight, matches, blankets, and changes of clothing.

4.Keep your gas tank filled: Since you will likely need your automobile to evacuate your area, it is a good rule of thumb to always refill your gas tank when it dips below half.

Keeping Your Property Safe During The Winter

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow all can cause serious property damage. While you can't control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather. Check your property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injury.  Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.  Ask SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County about completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

Protect Your Home From The Storm!

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we care about the safety of you and your loved ones and your home. Storms can be devastating and leave you with nothing. We want to educate you on some popular questions people ask when a storm of any kind comes through a home. 

What to Do After a Hurricane
  • Find your loved ones. ...
  • Don't go home until it's safe. ...
  • Document the damage. ...
  • Contact your insurance company. ...
  • Apply for assistance. ...
  • Stay out of the water. ...
  • Prevent further damage. ...
  • Listen to local clean up news and advisories.

Standard homeowners policies cover wind damage. So, if hurricane winds or tornadoes wreck your home, you should be OK. However, if a storm surge or flood carries off your house, a standard policy won't make you whole. You'll still have a mortgage if your house is destroyed by flooding.

Fill your bathtub with water, unless you have little children. This water can be used for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Water supplies are often compromised by hurricanes and either become undrinkable or stop flowing.

Stay Safe After a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm
  • Stay out of floodwater.
  • Never use a wet electrical device.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be careful near damaged buildings.
  • Stay away from power lines.
  • Protect yourself from animals and pests.
  • Drink safe water. Eat safe food.

If you have no flood insurance, FEMA's IHP grant will help you in a specific set of ways after a flood or other disaster. ... This is much less coverage than NFIP flood insurance, which covers up to $250,000 to repair or replace your home and belongings.

Most important after you know your family is safe, call SERVPRO to help you get your life back together. 

Storm Damages

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damages can be very scary and can take a while to recover from. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has done quite a few clean ups after some storm damages. Here are some good things to learn about storms. 

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

After a hurricane hits a coastal area, it can travel inland. At this point, the storm has typically weakened, but it can still cause damage. Torrential rains from the storm can cause rivers to flood their banks and mudslides to form. Around the world, about 10,000 people die each year in hurricanes and tropical storms.

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through.

Stay Safe!

Storm Damages

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damages can be very scary and can take a while to recover from. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has done quite a few clean ups after some storm damages. Here are some good things to learn about storms. 

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms can cause damage due to high winds, flash flooding from rain and from lightning strikes. Strong thunderstorms can also spawn tornadoes, which can cause massive destruction to personal and business property.

After a hurricane hits a coastal area, it can travel inland. At this point, the storm has typically weakened, but it can still cause damage. Torrential rains from the storm can cause rivers to flood their banks and mudslides to form. Around the world, about 10,000 people die each year in hurricanes and tropical storms.

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through.

Stay Safe!

Learn After The Storm

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

After a harsh storm a lot of damage can occur due to water. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we are here to help you understand. The water damages materials. Wallboard will disintegrate if it remains wet too long; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.

Mud, silt and unknown contaminants in the water not only get everything dirty, they also create a health hazard.

Dampness promotes the growth of mildew, a mold or fungus that can grow on everything.

The following steps work on all three of these problems. It is very important that they be followed in order.

Lower the humidity: Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home. There are five ways for you to lower the humidity and stop the rot and mildew. But you'll have to delay using some methods if you have no electricity.

Open up the house: If the humidity outside is lower than indoors, and if the weather permits, open all the doors and windows to exchange the moist indoor air for drier outdoor air. Your body will tell if the humidity is lower outdoors. If the sun is out, it should be drier outside. If you have a thermometer with a humidity gauge, you can monitor the indoor and outdoor humidity.

On the other hand, when temperatures drop at night, an open home is warmer and will draw moisture indoors. At night and other times when the humidity is higher outdoors, close up the house.

Open closet and cabinet doors: Remove drawers to allow air circulation. Drawers may stick because of swelling. Don't try to force them. Speed drying by opening up the back of the cabinet to let the air circulate. You will probably be able to remove the drawers as the cabinet dries out.

Use fans: Fans help move the air and dry out your home. Do not use central air conditioning or the furnace blower if the ducts were under water. They will blow out dirty air, that might contain contaminants from the sediment left in the duct work. Clean or hose out the ducts first.

Run dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners will reduce the moisture, especially in closed up areas.

Storm season is upon us

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

As it turns out you dont need rain for a storm to be dangerous. Strong winds can easily knock down power lines and cause fires that can destroy homes and make life difficult. You cant always plan for when disasters will strike, but you can be prepared for what to do after your home or business has been affected by storm damage. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to know that we have years of experience in cleaning up messes that a storm can leave behind. Whether your house is flooded from heavy rains or there's a hole in your roof from a tree falling down we have the equipment and expert man power for the job. We can handle all of your problems and needs quickly and thoroughly to ensure that your normal life whether at home or at your business is back up and running.

High Winds and Heavy Rain can cause leaky roofs

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

As the summer season comes to a close we at SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County want to remind you that the summer season of heavy winds and rain can take a toll on your roof and can cause problems not too far down the road. When storm season is said and done your roof can be left with missing shingles and wore down areas that can lead to leaking and potential structural damage when snow season arrives. Leaky roofs can damage property and cause your bills to rise if heating or air conditioning escapes through the holes in your roof from a rough storm season. It can also lead to disastrous cave-ins if there is a rough snow season, when snow piles up on your roof it can be heavy amounts of weight on your roof. When a roof isn't structured enough it can lead to cave ins and potential damage to everything in your top floor of your house. At SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County we want you to be safe and be smart by keeping up with the wear and tear of your roof during storm season and to know who to call when problems arise 

The aftermath storms can bring!

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

When storms happen in the northeast part of our area, it is always some kind aftermath of the storm. Whether its down tree branches and power lines. The aftermath damages from a storm from the wind or hail to home or business. Flooding from the rain, in and around the buildings or homes. Power outages or other utility outages. It is a mess that no one wants to tell with, but you can always count on the professional of SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to regain some peace of mind and to return to normal with our clean up services to the community both residential and commercials. We are here to service your day or night from that aftermath of any storm that comes to the Allentown area.

Always responding during hurricane season!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

We are in the middle of hurricane season.  Right here in the United States, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work and visit.  Did you know SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County offers a FREE emergency ready profile that anyone can set up using a smartphone or tablet?  SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has ensured making your emergency ready plan is available at the touch of your fingertips through our FREE app available in your app store. Of course, in the spirit of being prepared and ready for any disaster that could happen, we hope everyone adds SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County to your contingency plans both at work and home.  Protecting your home by knowing our services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days each year is a great way to stay prepared. 

Knowing all types of storms and the destruction they can cause!

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event. in 2018, there were seven weather and climate disaster events across the United States. These events included five severe weather tornado events, a major floor event, and the western drought heat wave. Overall, these events killed 353 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others. You can never predict when a large storm may hit, or the destruction it could bring.  Knowing that SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County will be one of the first to respond to help in disaster cleanup is always good to know.  We are trained for these type of terrible situations! 

#1 in Storm & Natural Disaster Cleanup

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County has dealt with our fair share of storms over the years. We all know how devastating something such as a hurricane can be especially when you may live by the water. Flooding and then mold occur and can completely ruin your home, building, or business. SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County takes pride in how we come together across the country to help those in need. We have traveled far and wide for the largest of damages. We understand how important it is to get your life back together so with all the franchises across the country we band together to get towns, cities, states back up and running. With our tractor trailers of equipment and vehicles filled with employees ready to repair everything as soon as possible. We understand your property hold value to you in more ways than one and we want you to have that comfort knowing we care and we go the extra mile to handle a disaster recovery. Just know that you can call SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County for any job no matter how big or how small. We can handle it!

When Storms or Floods hit Lehigh County, SERVPRO is ready!

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Lehigh County.

SERVPRO of Western Lehigh County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Lehigh County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 610.776.7774

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov. Watch this short informative video, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

This year (2018) the NFIP celebrates 50 years of protecting people in the United States against the perils of flood damage.

HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA NOTE: If you've been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, this page provides resources about how to File Your Flood Claim.

 

I Don't Have Flood Insurance--Why Do I Need It?

Use our interactive tool to find out how much a flood could cost you, and watch this short but informative video to learn more about the value of having flood insurance, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

I Have Flood Insurance--Do I Really Need To Keep It?

You realize your flood insurance policy is about to expire and you’re on the fence about renewing: It hasn’t flooded in your area in years (or ever). And you really could use that extra money to buy something you really want. Watch this short, informative video, Why Do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

But wait!

DON’T. RISK. IT.

FACT: Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state, including yours.

FACT: Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.

FACT: The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

FACT: If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don't have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It's important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.

FACT: You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

FACT: No home is completely safe from potential flooding devastation—why risk it?

FACT: If you live in a high risk flood zone, and you've received federal disaster assistance in the form of grants from FEMA or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

FACT: Storms are not the only cause of floods. Flooding can be caused by dams or levees breaking, new development changing how water flows above and below ground, snowmelt and much more.

FACT: Too often, Americans are caught off guard by the emotional and financial costs of flood damage.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data Visualization Tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA has provided in terms of federal disaster aid (through its Individuals & Households Program) after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance Program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

To renew your policy, call your flood insurance agent. If you don’t have your insurance agent’s contact information, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Who Can Buy Flood Insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

Learn more by watching these short videos, What Do I Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage? and How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

Find an insurance agent near you. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance too.

You can only purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can:

  • Contact the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 to request an agent referral.
  • Watch this informative video, How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

What Do I Need To Know When I Buy A Flood Insurance Policy?

How Do I Renew, Change Or Pay For My Flood Insurance Policy?

Your flood insurance agent can help you make changes to, pay for, or renew your flood policy. If your lender requires you to have flood insurance, contact them directly to ask questions about renewing or changing your policy. Your payments could be included in financial transactions associated with your mortgage.

My Question Is About Flood Maps--What Should I Do?

Find out if your community has a recent or upcoming flood map change. When your community’s  flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change.

Find your community’s flood map (Type in your address and choose "Interactive Map")

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Map Service Center.

Request a review of your flood zone designation (If you believe the zone your insurer or lender has determined for your property is incorrect.)

What Should I Know And Do Before, During And After A Flood?

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference is in three distinct sections:

  • Before the Flood
  • During the Flood, and
  • After the Flood

Community and state leaders, insurance industry professionals, as well as policyholders, renters, homeowners and businesses will find its resources helpful. We have organized this guide to provide succinct information in an easy-to-navigate document and included important, key contact information. To ensure it can be updated as the program evolves, this document has been published electronically.

Read about everything from mitigating your home to reduce flood damage, to information about weather alerts and how to stay safe when it's flooding in, How to Prepare for a Flood.

Information for Policyholders, Help with or without a Disaster Declaration.

My Home Or Business Just Flooded--What Should I Do?

File Your Flood Claim

Flood claim appeals and guidance (please note--you cannot appeal a claim until you receive a denial [for some or all of your claim amount] from your insurance company.)

What Can I Do To Prepare For Or Even Reduce Flood Damage? And Can Doing These Things Lessen How Much I Pay For Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. It makes sense to reduce flood risk no matter what, but in some instances reducing flood risk can also lead to lower flood insurance costs. Below are some resources to help, but discussing your policy options with your insurance agent is the best place to start.

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Communities enrolled in the NFIP's Community Rating System can get discounts on their flood insurance, learn more here.

The Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations, and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

To learn more about elevating your property, read Elevating Your House.

Did you know? An elevated home, like the one shown on the 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

Source: Ready.gov

National Preparedness Month: How to file a flood claim

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Collect all documents and protect them in a safe place in case of a flood!
How Do I File My Flood Claim?

It can be a very overwhelming time for a property owner or renter following a flood. The information below will provide you with what you need to know about filing a flood insurance claim, tips on what you can do and need to know before your flood insurance adjuster visits your property and the other visitors you can expect at your property. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.

You should report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or insurance carrier and ask them about Advance Payments.

Find your insurer on this list of insurance companies administering National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance and report your claim right away. If you need assistance finding your insurance carrier, please call 800-427-4661. Help is available in most languages. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can use TTY 800-462-7585.

If you have a policy written directly with the NFIP (i.e., your Declaration Page has the FEMA logo in the top corner), it's fast and easy to report your claim directly to the NFIP's Direct Servicing Agent.

You should have the following information available when reporting your claim:

  • Policy Declarations page (official document detailing your flood insurance coverage), if available
  • How you can be reached: telephone number or alternate contact number and email address
  • The insured property location
  • The name of any mortgage company(s)

A claims adjuster should contact you within 24-48 hours, but it may take longer, depending on the severity of the flood event.

NOTE: Your NFIP policy does not cover Additional Living Expenses, including temporary housing, but if you qualify, FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program might be able to help. So, it’s important to register for assistance with FEMA, even if you have flood insurance.

Registering online, at DisasterAssistance.gov is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. If you do not have access to the internet, you may register by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If you use 711 relay or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362 directly. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

NFIP policyholders must follow the guidelines of their flood policy when cleaning up. Read the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Homeowner’s and Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters.

Before entering a flooded building, make sure it’s safe.

Take as many photos and/or videos of your flood-damaged property as you can, both on the outside and the inside of the building, and label them, by room, before you remove anything—including items of exceptional value. For items like washers and dryers, hot water heaters, kitchen appliances, televisions and computers, make sure you take a photograph of the make, model and serial number. This information should be provided to your adjuster.

Remove your flood damaged items:

  1. For your building items (e.g., flooring), retain samples such as carpet, wallpaper and drapes for your adjuster’s inspection.
  2. For your personal property items, separate the damaged from undamaged items for your adjuster’s inspection.
  3. Immediately throw away flooded items that pose a health risk, such as perishable food, clothing, cushions and pillows, after photographing them.
  4. Confirm your available NFIP coverage. Some policyholders may only have building or contents (personal property items) coverage, not both.
  5. Contact repair services if the building’s electrical, water or HVAC systems are damaged. It’s important to consult your adjuster or insurance carrier before you sign any agreement/contract with a cleaning, remediation or maintenance contractor.
  6. Contact your community building department and floodplain administrator to get the following information:
  7. Whether your property was substantially damaged;
  8. Tips on how to better protect or repair your home; and
  9. How to obtain a building permit. This is a very important step to ensure you are rebuilding in compliance with local ordinances.

When your claims adjuster arrives, he/she should show you their official identification (Driver’s License and Company ID or Flood Control Number (FCN card)). The adjuster should also provide you with their contact information, such as their name, email, phone number, the name of their adjusting firm and their telephone number.

What you should expect from your adjuster:

  • An explanation of the NFIP Flood Claims Process.
  • An inspection of your property—during which he/she will scope your loss by taking measurements and photos.
  • An explanation of what an Advance Payment is and how, or if, you can get one.
  • Information about how you should present your loss to your insurance carrier, and a discussion about your policy coverage.

Other things to know, do and/or discuss with your adjuster:

  • The insurance carrier, not the adjuster, has the authority to approve your claim.
  • Be sure to provide your current mailing address and phone number if you are displaced.
  • Ask if you are eligible for Increased Cost of Compliance.
  • The adjuster should never ask you for money or collect your deductible amount.

At the end of your inspection, your adjuster should provide you with information about what you need to do and what will happen next. The adjuster should hand you a physical copy of this information along with his/her contact information. Read more about what to do after your inspection.

Your adjuster may assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming, including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damage. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the date of loss.

You'll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damage and the insurer has your complete and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims.

Note: Signing a Proof of Loss does not waive your rights to file for additional claim payments in the future if additional damage is discovered.

Note: The requirement to file the Proof of Loss could be waived by FEMA depending on the severity of the event. Your adjuster or insurance company will let you know if this happens.

Source: Floodsmart.gov

National Preparedness Month: Flood Insurance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Don't wait until it's too late to get flood insurance!

How Do I Buy Flood Insurance?

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance. Here is a list of participating Write Your Own (WYO) companies.

If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. NFIP flood insurance policies can only be purchased for properties within communities that participate in the NFIP. Ask your agent if your community participates, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

  Why Buy Flood Insurance

No home is completely safe from potential flooding. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage—why risk it?

The Cost of Flooding

Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event.  Without flood insurance, most residents have to pay out of pocket or take out loans to repair and replace damaged items.  With flood insurance, you're able to recover faster and more fully.  Use the tool below to see how much flood damage—even from just a few inches of water—could cost you.

 

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
  • FACT: More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.
  • FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
  • FACT: Disaster assistance comes in two forms: a U.S. Small Business Administration loan, which must be paid back with interest, or a FEMA disaster grant, which is about $5,000 on average per household.  By comparison, the average flood insurance claim is nearly $30,000 and does not have to be repaid.
All About Flood Maps

The primary feature of flood maps are flood zones, which are geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk and type of flooding. These zones are depicted on the published Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM). Everyone lives in an area with some risk of flood—it’s just a question of whether you live in a low-, moderate-, or high-risk area.

To find your community’s flood map, visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, then type in your address and search. You may view, print and download flood maps, open an interactive flood map (if available), and view all products related to your community.

Find out if your community has pending or preliminary map changes underway. When your community’s flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change. Want to receive an alert when your community’s flood map changes? Sign upto receive email notifications when products are updated.

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

How Can I Pay Less for My Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance often has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. Mitigation and other factors play a role in protecting properties from flood damage, but sometimes they can also help reduce how much you pay for your flood insurance policy.

Did You Know?

 

An elevated home, like the one shown in 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium with a first floor elevated three feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), can expect to save 60% or more on annual flood insurance premiums. 

Does my community get a discount?

If your community is enrolled in the Community Rating System (CRS), you may be receiving a discount on your flood insurance. The discount is calculated based on the community's efforts to reduce the risk of flooding. If you have questions about CRS, call your insurance agent or insurer.

Are there ways to protect my property from flood damage?

 

The Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

Elevation: is it the answer?

 

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

If you would like to consider elevating your home, learn more about it to determine if it might be a good option. It can be very expensive, but can substantially reduce flood damage and could be a way to reduce the cost of your flood insurance. Here’s another helpful resource: Chapter Five in Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting.

I cannot elevate my property, so what can I do?

 

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Source: Floodsmart.gov

National Preparedness Month: National Flood Insurance

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov. Watch this short informative video, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

This year (2018) the NFIP celebrates 50 years of protecting people in the United States against the perils of flood damage.

HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA NOTE: If you've been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, this page provides resources about how to File Your Flood Claim.

 

I Don't Have Flood Insurance--Why Do I Need It?

Use our interactive tool to find out how much a flood could cost you, and watch this short but informative video to learn more about the value of having flood insurance, Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don't need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay it back.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

I Have Flood Insurance--Do I Really Need To Keep It?

You realize your flood insurance policy is about to expire and you’re on the fence about renewing: It hasn’t flooded in your area in years (or ever). And you really could use that extra money to buy something you really want. Watch this short, informative video, Why Do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

But wait!

DON’T. RISK. IT.

FACT: Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state, including yours.

FACT: Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.

FACT: The damage from just one inch of water can cost more than $20,000. Check out The Big Cost of Flooding.

FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.

FACT: If you allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an Elevation Certificate (if you don't have one), and you may no longer be eligible for policy rate discounts you might have been receiving prior to the policy lapse. It's important to talk with your insurance agent before canceling or not renewing the policy.

FACT: You can file a flood claim even if there is not a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

FACT: No home is completely safe from potential flooding devastation—why risk it?

FACT: If you live in a high risk flood zone, and you've received federal disaster assistance in the form of grants from FEMA or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

FACT: Storms are not the only cause of floods. Flooding can be caused by dams or levees breaking, new development changing how water flows above and below ground, snowmelt and much more.

FACT: Too often, Americans are caught off guard by the emotional and financial costs of flood damage.

Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state's flood history with FEMA's interactive data Visualization Tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA has provided in terms of federal disaster aid (through its Individuals & Households Program) after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance Program has paid to its policyholders. It's easy to see having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.

To renew your policy, call your flood insurance agent. If you don’t have your insurance agent’s contact information, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Who Can Buy Flood Insurance?

If you are a renter or homeowner (residential policy); or business owner (non-residential policy) and your property is located in a NFIP-participating community, you can purchase a policy. Contact your insurance agent to find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood insurance from the NFIP is only available in participating communities. Ask your agent if your state and community participate, or look it up online in the Community Status Book.

Learn more by watching these short videos, What Do I Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage? and How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

Find an insurance agent near you. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance too.

You can only purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can:

  • Contact the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 to request an agent referral.
  • Watch this informative video, How Can I Buy Flood Insurance?

What Do I Need To Know When I Buy A Flood Insurance Policy?

How Do I Renew, Change Or Pay For My Flood Insurance Policy?

Your flood insurance agent can help you make changes to, pay for, or renew your flood policy. If your lender requires you to have flood insurance, contact them directly to ask questions about renewing or changing your policy. Your payments could be included in financial transactions associated with your mortgage.

My Question Is About Flood Maps--What Should I Do?

Find out if your community has a recent or upcoming flood map change. When your community’s  flood map is updated to reflect the current risks where you live, requirements for flood insurance coverage and the costs of your policy can also change.

Find your community’s flood map (Type in your address and choose "Interactive Map")

Get answers to your flood mapping questions online or by talking with someone from FEMA’s Map Service Center.

Request a review of your flood zone designation (If you believe the zone your insurer or lender has determined for your property is incorrect.)

What Should I Know And Do Before, During And After A Flood?

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference is in three distinct sections:

  • Before the Flood
  • During the Flood, and
  • After the Flood

Community and state leaders, insurance industry professionals, as well as policyholders, renters, homeowners and businesses will find its resources helpful. We have organized this guide to provide succinct information in an easy-to-navigate document and included important, key contact information. To ensure it can be updated as the program evolves, this document has been published electronically.

Read about everything from mitigating your home to reduce flood damage, to information about weather alerts and how to stay safe when it's flooding in, How to Prepare for a Flood.

Information for Policyholders, Help with or without a Disaster Declaration.

My Home Or Business Just Flooded--What Should I Do?

File Your Flood Claim

Flood claim appeals and guidance (please note--you cannot appeal a claim until you receive a denial [for some or all of your claim amount] from your insurance company.)

What Can I Do To Prepare For Or Even Reduce Flood Damage? And Can Doing These Things Lessen How Much I Pay For Flood Insurance?

What you pay for flood insurance has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. It makes sense to reduce flood risk no matter what, but in some instances reducing flood risk can also lead to lower flood insurance costs. Below are some resources to help, but discussing your policy options with your insurance agent is the best place to start.

Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot be Elevated explains things that can be done to better protect a building from flood damage, and in some cases implementing these changes will reduce the cost of your flood insurance.

Communities enrolled in the NFIP's Community Rating System can get discounts on their flood insurance, learn more here.

The Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting can help you decide the right method to mitigate future damage and loss by considering various factors, such as hazards to your home, permit requirements, technical limitations, and costs. This guide also helps you develop a flood protection strategy.

The Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, for eligible properties that are required to be in compliance with local floodplain requirements, can help pay for elevating a building after a flood. Another way to get help with the cost of elevating your building would be through one of FEMA's various grant programs. The grants are administered by states, and each state decides which projects it will fund and for how much. Contact your local floodplain manager for more information.

To learn more about elevating your property, read Elevating Your House.

Did you know? An elevated home, like the one shown on the 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium, with a first floor elevated 3 feet above the base ­flood elevation, can expect to save 60 percent or more on annual ­flood insurance premiums.

Did you know? Elevating just one foot above the Base Flood Elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.

Source: Ready.gov