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updated: 4/21/2013 1:39 AM

FEMA tips on flood aftermath

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What homeowners should do

• Homeowners with flood insurance policies should contact their insurance agent or company to file a claim. Have the following information handy when an adjuster calls: Name of insurance company, policy number, a telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times.

• Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.

• Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.

• Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.

• Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible, and place with the inventory taken before the flood.

• Officials may require disposal of damaged items so keep photographs of these items and, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.

• Your adjuster will provide you a Proof of Loss form for your official claim for damages. File this claim with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program or insurance company can make payment.

• Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.

• Boil water for drinking and food preparation until authorities tell you that your water supply is safe.

• Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.

• Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency

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