With the arrival of spring, hard rains are bound to fall.
Heavy rain has pounded much of the country in recent days–and more is expected in the days and weeks to come. Flooding is nature’s most common natural disaster, affecting tens of thousands of homeowners nationally each year, and causing more than $600 million in property damage in the United States, according to the latest statistics available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As if that weren’t bad enough, many property owners are reportedly often stunned to find out that their homeowners insurance policies may not cover any of the damage that may arise.
“People are often surprised to discover that flooding could happen to them,” said Franklin Reid, an assistant vice president for MetLife Auto & Home who oversees the company’s flood program. “Flooding occurs in all 50 states in the United States, and, in fact, up to 25 percent of all flood claims come from people living in low-to-moderate-risk zones. Many people also aren’t aware that flood damage isn’t covered by most standard homeowners insurance policies, even though flood insurance is usually relatively inexpensive, and can easily be purchased for a home or business, to cover both your building and contents, subject to policy limitations.”
The danger of flooding should never be taken lightly. Fast moving water just two feet deep could actually wash away cars, and flood levels could reach more than 20 feet high, resulting in devastating losses for families, businesses, and entire communities.
MetLife Auto & Home offers the following tips about flooding:
— Know the facts about floods. A flood/flash flood watch means a flood is possible, and a flood/flash flood warning means that flooding has already begun, or is about to begin.
— Take all flood warnings extremely seriously. Leave immediately, if ordered to do so. When leaving, stay on approved paths; other routes may be washed out. Make certain the car’s gas tank is full.
— If one comes upon a flooded road, turn around and go back. Never try to cross flood waters. If one can’t turn their car around, leave it there and walk to higher ground.
— To prepare for any natural disaster, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand at home. Items to consider include bottled water, canned food items, a first aid kit, sanitary supplies, a battery-operated radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
For more information about flood preparation, MetLife Auto & Home has established a flood Web site, available at www.metlifeflood.com.
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