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Be smart about flood preparedness

Contact: Jennifer Bowen

(334) 269-3550

12/31/2018

Alabama has seen a soggy end to 2018 and showers will help ring in the New Year, with more precipitation set to fall through Friday. In many parts of the state, the ground is saturated and soft from days of rain.

The Alabama Department of Insurance offers these safety tips for rain-soaked areas.

It’s important to remain vigilant and stay tuned to local media for weather updates for your area. A flood or flash flood watch means a flood is possible. A flood or flash flood warning means flooding is already happenings or will soon.

Never drive through a flooded road. It’s impossible to tell how deep the water is or whether the road itself may have washed away. Just six inches of water can cause drivers to lose control of a vehicle. When you see a flooded road, turn around, don’t drown.

If you live in a flood-prone area, move anything you want to protect, like photos, electronics and family valuables, to a higher floor.

Store your insurance information and your agent’s contact information in a safe place.  If you do sustain damage, take pictures and notify your agent as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you don’t have flood insurance, it’s a good time to consider whether you need coverage. Flooding is not typically covered by homeowners or renter’s insurance and even a small amount of water can do thousands of dollars in damage. According to the National Flood Insurance program, more than 20 percent of flood claims come from outside high-risk flood zones.

Policies usually have a waiting period before they take effect. If your insurance agent doesn’t sell flood insurance, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

Here are some social media accounts to follow to stay up-to-date on the weather:

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency - https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaEMA/.

The National Weather Service of Huntsville - https://www.facebook.com/NWSHuntsville/.

The National Weather Service of Birmingham - https://www.facebook.com/NWSBirmingham/.

The National Weather Service of Mobile - https://www.facebook.com/NWSMobile/.