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The dangers of flooding

Thursday, December 05, 2013   by: Greener Ideal
Flooding on the Cambridge Turnpike in Concord, Mass.

Photo via CorpsNewEngland

You might have seen floods on television and wondered how water can cause so much damage.  A puddle of water might look harmless, but it can be disastrous.  Six inches of water can knock an adult off their feet. Two feet of moving water has enough force to move a car in a flood. Homeowners and business owners are vulnerable to the dangers caused by flooding.  In this article, you will find information on what homeowners and business owners can do to defend themselves against flooding.


How Dangers Are Flood Waters?

Flood waters are extremely dangerous. If the flooding is in a rural area, the water might contain pesticides and animal feces. Flood waters in urban and rural areas could contain live and dead animals, chemicals from household cleaning products and gasoline. Fallen trees and furniture can also be swept away by flood waters.  Besides the visible things in floodwaters, floodwaters also contain disease causing bacteria and viruses. The water is also a breeding environment for mosquitoes.  People wading through flood waters should wear rubber gloves and rubber boots. They should also get a tetanus shot and only drink bottled water. A heavy rainfall can cause flooding in minutes. A large tidal wave can cause flooding in seconds.


How Common Are Floods?

Most homeowners wrongfully assume their homeowners insurance policy protects them against floods. Many do not know that flood insurance requires a separate insurance policy. There are several different levels of homeowners insurance.  Homeowners and business owners should purchase a policy that has enough coverage for their home or business area. Ninety percent of all major disasters in the United States are flooding disasters, and most floods occur in low risk areas of the country. Most flood insurance policies have a waiting period before they are in effect. Since floods can occur any time of year, it is important to purchase flood insurance immediately upon purchasing a home or commercial building.  This will ensure the home or business owner can be reimbursed for the money spent on repairs.


How to Prepare For a Flood Emergency?

When you know a flood is imminent, it is best to prepare for danger ahead of time. Homeowners should line the outside of their home with sandbags. The power should be cut from all your electrical devices. All important documents should be secured on a top shelf. Lastly, homeowners should make sure they have a portable radio to listen to the news reports.


What Does Residential Flood Insurance Cover?

So what is covered by flood insurance? Flood insurance will cover structural damage to a home. It will pay for repairs needed to the walls, roof, plumbing, electrical and heating systems. A more in depth flood insurance policy will cover furniture and appliances. Homeowners can also opt for a policy that covers their basement.


What Does Commercial Flood Insurance Cover?

Commercial flood insurance policies cover damages to the inside and outside of the building, machinery and fixtures. Sandbagging, which means lining the business with sand bags before a flood, is also covered in commercial flood insurance policies. This means business owners will be reimbursed for the money they spend on sandbags.  Commercial flood insurance policies also cover any cleaning that needs to be done after the flood.

A flood can happen anywhere. Living near large bodies of water increases flooding risk, but floods can occur anywhere it rains. Flood insurance is certainly cheaper than buying a new home or business. Protect your investment by purchasing flood insurance for your home or commercial property. A flood insurance agent can help you find a plan that offers the coverage you need at an affordable price.

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