Dealing With a Flood in Your Home

by Helen Chen Marston 09/15/2019

Floods are one of the most terrifying events to occur in any home, especially if it’s the result of a natural disaster. As expected, your priority should be the safety of your family, and while you make arrangements for their protection, you can do the following things before repairs start. 

1. The first step is to cut off the power supply

Be very careful before going in to grab items as flood water could carry an electrical current to electrocute you or even cause a fire, as well as bring bacteria and microbes into your home. Locate your circuit panel and shut off all power circuits, even if the power from the grid is off. Watch out for signs of potential danger, like a collapsed roof. If the home appears unsafe to enter, do not attempt to go inside.

2. Document Everything

Since you do not know how long it will take before the insurance process kicks in, you will need to start compiling documentation of everything. Pictures and videos are essential, as well as written reports about the condition of the home. If the house worsens after the initial damage let your records reflect it. The claims adjuster will carry out another investigation on getting to your property and the more information you offer, the better informed they can be during their assessment.

3. Begin the Repair Process

As soon as you can, drain the water from your home. If you have a sump pump, you can elect to do it yourself, or you could decide to hire an expert for the job. Take extra caution when paying for services if your claims adjuster is not done assessing the degree of the damage. It’s advisable that you keep receipts for whatever you purchase, no matter how unimportant you think it is. 

4. Be Patient and Cautious

If your region was declared a disaster area because of the flood, you might have to spend a long time before you get access to repair services. Protect yourself from repair scams by asking anyone who comes to your home to provide identification and confirmation that they are from your insurance company, as many conmen often use this con to defraud victims.

If you need special help and assistance from FEMA or other relief agencies, don't hesitate to reach out to them.

About the Author
Author

Helen Chen Marston

Helen Marston has been a member of WSGVAR since March 2009. She graduated from Peking University and received her MBA from California State University, Los Angeles. After becoming a REALTOR®, she has earned a variety of NAR designations and certifications: CRS, GRI, SRES, CIPS, GREEN, MRP, SFR, etc. Working at Keller Williams Realty Arcadia, she leads as Associates Leadership Council while providing a Mentor role for new real estate licensees. Outside of her real estate business, Helen is an advocate for community service. She currently serves as Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of Temple City, General Chair of the 74th Temple City Camellia Festival, and is also actively involved with different organizations in the community and the local schools. Helen was honored as Congresswoman Judy Chu’s "Woman of the Year” for Temple City in 2016 and was selected as one of the "Make A Difference” Honorees, awarded by the State Assembly Member, Ed Chau, in 2016.