Flood Insurance Blog

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FEMA: What is it?

By | Flood Info

What Exactly is FEMA?

People often ask, just what is FEMA? The term stands for Federal Emergency Management Association. We at Neptune Flood Insurance want to help you understand what this government agency is and how they are involved in emergencies, such as hurricanes or flooding.

History

The first response by Congress to known emergency legislation began in the year 1803, as the government extended the time for the remittance of payment for tariffs to merchants. This was after a devastating series of fires that affected the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Considered by many as the first piece of Congressional legislation to provide disaster relief, other efforts were made after that time.

The present agency began with two presidential orders in the year 1978. Its main purpose is the coordination of response to a United States disaster after it has occurred. These disasters often overwhelm state and local resources and help from the United States government is needed.

State governments, through the order of the governor, must declare a state of emergency as well as ask the president that a federal response is given. On-the-ground disaster recovery support is a major part of FEMA’s work; the agency also provides knowledgeable experts in specialized fields as well as funding for the rebuilding efforts to state and local governments. Offering access to low-interest loans, the organization works with the Small Business Administration.

Additionally, funds are given for the training of personnel for preparedness throughout the United States.

After a Flood

FEMA was placed under the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, after the attacks on September 11, 2001.

After the devastating floods from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it became evident that the government was not giving as much attention to natural disasters, as testified by emergency management professionals. At that point, they felt that the nation needed preparedness and was more vulnerable to such natural events as hurricanes.

Even with calls to separate the agency, today the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a very large agency and still a part of the Department of Homeland Security.

What Assistance is Provided for Floods?

FEMA grants may be provided to those who suffer severe damage to homes, vehicles or personal property from flooding. Assistance after the disaster may include grants to help pay for emergency home repairs and temporary housing as well as for uninsured and under-insured personal property losses. Disaster-related medical, dental and funeral expenses, as well as other serious disaster-related expenses, may also be eligible for assistance.

The National Flood Insurance Program

Helping to reduce the impact of flooding on public and private homes and businesses, this Federal Emergency Management Agency program offers affordable insurance. It prompts property owners, renters, and businesses by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.

Effects of flooding are mitigated on newer structure, and the economic and social impacts of a flood are lessened through the promotion of affordable insurance for flooding damage.

At Neptune Flood, we can answer your questions regarding the insurance you may need to be fully prepared for an emergency. Because our nerds work tirelessly to provide solutions, you don’t have to. We are backed by Lloyds, one of the largest insurers in the world, and have great products to make the purchase of insurance simple and easy.

Millions of Americans are now saving up to 25% off the cost of their insurance, due to the use of technology. Using satellites and LiDAR and IfSAR (light detection and remote sensing radar) technology, Neptune Flood creates maps to help with the identification of the true cost of buying insurance. Get a quote or browse our site to learn more about how you can be prepared.

 

 

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Hurricane Preparedness – Before the Storm

By | Flood Info

You’ve heard the weather reports, checked out the National Weather Service and know that a hurricane is heading your way. At this point, hopefully, you have flooding insurance in place and do not have to think about that. Neptune flood wants to make sure that you know how to get ready when a hurricane threatens, so here are some helpful hurricane preparedness tips. These suggestions have been listed according to a time frame.

Prepare
What you can do now:

  • Know your area’s risk
  • Sign up for a community warning system
  • Watch for heavy rain, if you are at risk for flash floods
  • Think about your plans for sheltering in place or evacuation
  • Know evacuation routes, evacuation zones and the location of shelters
  • Gather supplies, medications and pet needs
  • Safeguard important papers or place them in a password-protected digital place
  • Protect your property. Clean drains and gutters and install check valves in plumbing. If you have hurricane shutters be prepared to use them
  • Review your insurance policies in case of damage or flood

36 Hours Ahead
According to the government, 36 hours ahead of the hurricane you should:

  • Be ready to get the latest updates; turn on TV or radio
  • Restock your emergency kit
  • Plan how to communicate with family if power fails
  • Review evacuation routes, evacuation zones and the location of shelters
  • Keep your car in good working order and fill up with gas
  • Put emergency supplies in the car as well as a change of clothes

18 to 36 Hours Ahead

  • Bookmark the list of county resources so it is handy
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and anything that could fly and hit something in high wind
  • Anchor objects such as propane tanks
  • Trim trees that are close to the house
  • Activate storm shutters or put 5/8” exterior-grade or marine plywood on windows

6 to 18 Hours Ahead

  • Turn on TV and radio for instructions
  • Charge your cell phone in case of power loss

6 Hours Ahead

  • If not recommended or ordered to evacuate, plan on staying put and not going out. Let friends know where you are
  • Close storm shutters; stay away from the windows
  • Turn refrigerator to coldest setting in case of power loss. Before eating food when power is restored, check the food temperature
  • Turn on TV or radio or check the website in your county every 30 minutes in order to get updates

If you are given an evacuation order, do it immediately. Remember to not drive around any barricades, as there could be flooding.

These steps, as well as the purchasing of flooding insurance, can make the event of a hurricane less stressful. By preparing months ahead of time as well as hours before, it will be less chaotic, and fewer things will be forgotten or neglected. We have additional information on the Neptune Flood blog on flood preparedness. Because a hurricane also involves high winds, additional precautions should be taken.

Consult a document given out by your county to find out about which evacuation zone you live in, so you know ahead of time whether you might have to leave. If you are going to stay. If you have a pet, know where the nearest pet-friendly shelter is if you do have to evacuate.

Using space-age technology, Neptune Flood can help you be prepared for a hurricane or flood. With the ability to buy flooding insurance in less than three minutes, why not be ready.

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Flood Shelter Survival Tips

By | Flood Info

If you are in an area that is going to flood, you may have been told to evacuate. This could mean gathering up pets and belongings for a few days at the shelter. Preparing for the shelter as well as preparing your home with flooding insurance is a wise thing to do.

Even if you intend to stay at a motel, roads may be blocked or they are filled up, which often happens when a disaster is pending. Staying with friends is another option, but if that is not possible, you have no choice other than to stay in a local shelter provided by the county or city. But how to survive the shelter?

Here are some tips from Neptune Flood, gained from advice and experience.

Pets
If you have pets, the first thing to do is to locate a pet-friendly shelter. Be sure that the shelter you choose is open; once you have found the one closest to you, you will need to get ready. Some things you will need include:

  • Pet food for 3 days, manual can opener and dish or dry food
  • Water and water bowl
  • Crate or cat carrier for each pet
  • Leash for dogs or litter box, scoop, and litter for cats
  • Disposable bags for cleanup
  • Pet Medications
  • Favorite toys and a blanket
  • Snacks
  • Proof of up-to-date immunization

Note: Some advocates for pets suggest a two-week supply of food and medication.

Be aware that many shelters do not allow a pet that is not in a crate or carrier. Often a shelter will have a separate room, one for dogs and one for cats; they will be staying in their crate or carrier most of the time. Dogs can be walked outside with a leash. Yes, you can visit with Rover or kitty while staying at the shelter. Those snacks or treats (for your pet) can help reduce the stress of being in a dorm of furry friends.

As a guardian of your fur friend, you must be staying at the shelter as well; no drop-offs. In some shelters, you may be able to have your pet next to you during your stay.

If possible, at least for a cat or small animal, have a carrier that has wheels, as it will save you some effort while waiting in lines to check in or coming from the parking lot.

Shelter Tips
Here are some basic tips for your stay at the shelter.

  • Do not bring jewelry or valuables
  • No illegal drugs, firearms or alcohol
  • Watch children at all times
  • Do not enter restricted areas
  • Courtesy rules!
  • Report suspicious behavior to nearby police in the shelter
  • Keep noise to a minimum

Remember to bring a blanket and padding for under your “bed”. If you do not want to stay in a dorm with many people, see if you can camp in another room or hallway. Here are some tips on what to bring to the shelter:

  • Medications
  • Non-perishable food
  • Gallons of drinking water
  • Bedding
  • Child necessities
  • Hygiene items
  • Change of clothes
  • Quiet games
  • Valid ID and important papers
  • Eyeglasses or spare contacts
  • Phone list and cash

Pack light, since this is not a vacation or a cruise ship, just a lifeboat. You will have a small space, possibly 5 feet by 2 feet, that will be your home during the flood.

Staying at a shelter requires courtesy; you may be among people that range from the rich genteel to those without a home. You will be dining with a group in a cafeteria or you can take food back to your “room”; you may even make some new friends. Being open to the experience, and having gratitude for the shelter, is making the best of the situation.

You can bring some food that is non-perishable as well as snacks. Have reading materials and a computer tablet if you have one. Remember to bring your charging cords and phones plus extra batteries for flashlights. Some people even bring beach chairs, as they enjoy sitting and talking to others or just chilling-out, making the best of it.

Flooding insurance will add peace-of-mind in case you ever have to stay at a shelter during a storm or flooding. We at Neptune Flood know that recovery from flooding can take a while; being prepared for floods as well as for a stay at a shelter will make for less stress when an evacuation is necessary.

 

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Flood Warning: Evacuate or Stay?

By | Flood Info

If it’s been raining for several days and flooding is imminent, you will probably be asking if you should evacuate if a flood warning is given. Neptune Flood wants you to become aware of what your options are, should this troublesome event occur. Whether to leave or stay is best learned through knowing some simple facts.

Shelter in Place 
If you live in a sound structure, not a mobile home or RV, and are outside an evacuation area, stay at home. There are some simple things you can do to prepare for the storm or flooding.
Before the Flood:

  • Be alert
  • Have a family disaster plan
  • Be prepared to evacuate
  • Assemble disaster supplies and pet needs
  • Assemble medications
  • Move valuables to a higher level
  • Make sure drains are cleared
  • Keep important papers in a waterproof container
  • Buy extra batteries and have cell phones charged
  • Learn about evacuation routes
  • Do not drive through flooded waters

You can find out more about your flood risk by going to the FEMA service center page. You might also sign up for your community alert system; the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio will give emergency alerts.
Determine the best way to protect your family. If you receive a flood warning:

  • Stay where you are
  • Move to a higher floor
  • Evacuate if told to do so

Evacuation Order 
If you are told to leave, don’t panic. Move at a steady pace to ensure you get to where you need to be during the flooding. If an evacuation order is given, do not take chances by staying home until it may be too late. Do the following:

  • Make sure that your destination is not one that is in an evacuation zone
  • Take enough supplies for the family
  • Take your pets and supplies for them
  • Take important papers, insurance policies and agent’s name, special medical information
  • Take photos or irreplaceable items
  • Let friends and family know where you are going
  • Check on neighbors to make sure they have a safe ride
  • Lock doors and windows
  • Turn off electricity, water, and gas if told to do so

Leaving a Coastal Area 
You may only need to go “tens of miles, not hundreds of miles” to escape the storm surge. Roads may be congested, so avoiding the highway is probably the best bet if you are leaving. Remember to bring supplies with you. If you are planning on staying in a hotel or motel, make sure that it is not in a flood zone!

It is hoped that you have previously chosen a safe location to go to during flooding. If you have to leave, do so immediately and do not drive around barricades. Do not swim or walk through flooded waters. The saying is, “Turn Around. Don’t Drown!”

If you become trapped in your vehicle in flooded waters, go to the roof if water is entering the interior.

Learn more about what you can do during a flood warning at the government website. Regardless of whether you stay or leave during a flood, a major point is to make sure that you have flood insurance before the disaster occurs. If you do have to leave your home in the event of flooding, you can have peace-of-mind, knowing that your home is covered. Neptune Flood can help you with affordable coverage that is backed by one of the largest insurance markets in the world. Using the latest technology, Neptune Flood brings the cost of flood insurance down to help every American homeowner.

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Flood Tips for your Home

By | Flood Info

Knowing what to do after a flood can help make the recovery process a little easier. Even a small, local flood can be devastating for those involved. Yet, catastrophes tend to bring out the best in people as friends and neighbors help each other out.

It doesn’t take a lot of water, sometimes as little as one or two inches, to severely damage your home and belongings. The deeper the water, the more structural damage, up to and including the roof. You’ll want to begin the cleanup as soon as possible, but don’t return until the authorities allow it.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible to get information on submitting a claim and when you’ll be contacted by an adjuster. Find out what services are covered, such as professional cleanup and restoration. You’ll need a complete record of the damage for your insurance company, to apply for disaster assistance (find out if a disaster was officially declared for your area) and for a tax deduction.

Take Pictures

You’ll want to take pictures of the inside and outside of the building and damaged items before and during the cleanup. Digital pictures are best since they can be safely stored in the “cloud” and attached to your claim. When you’re resettled in your home, take pictures periodically as part of a home inventory.

You’ll Need Food, Water, Flashlights, Batteries, Household Cleaners and Bleach When You Return Home

  • If you have a well, assume the water is contaminated until you have it checked by a well or pump contractor. Many people need professional help to restart and disinfect their wells, but EPA offers a good well how-to for do-it-yourselfers.
  • If you have city water, it will be restored as soon as possible.
  • Boil water until your water is declared safe.
  • Most food left behind will be contaminated. Canned food should still be safe to eat, but don’t open the can until disinfecting the outside. Throw out damaged cans.
  • Power will be out, so you’ll need flashlights. Bring as many batteries as you can. Use ONLY battery-powered lights to avoid igniting any flammable material.
  • You’ll need a lot of heavy-duty cleaners and bleach.

Don’t Enter Your Home Until it’s Safe

  • Wait until the authorities say it’s safe to return.
  • Check for structural damage, including cracks in the foundation, walls, windows, and ceilings.
  • Look for damaged water or sewer lines.
  • Use extreme caution at all times.
  • Wear sturdy boots or shoes – cut feet are among the most common injuries.
  • Watch for snakes or other unfriendly wildlife.

Turn Off the Power

Even if the power lines are down, make sure that all power is turned off at the main circuit breaker as long as you can reach it without standing in water. Having the power unexpectedly come back on would be extremely dangerous – water and electricity are a deadly combination. Report any broken lines to the power company.

Gas lines should be turned off at the main valve or meter tank. If you smell gas, leave immediately and call the gas company.

Cleaning Up

There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that cleanup is long and hard. A broken pipe in an upstairs bathroom can cause a lot of damage, but that’s nothing compared to what a rising river or terrible storm can do.

  • First, get the OK from your insurer to begin the cleanup. Find out what resources are available to help you.
  • Open all windows to air out the building – mold is already growing and you need fresh air.
  • A non-ammonia or pine oil cleaner can be used to help control the growth of mold, followed by a bleach/water disinfectant. FEMA has more information on mold removal.
  • Shovel out contaminated mud and then hose down surfaces.
  • A sump pump and wet vac can help remove water. Water is heavy – a cubic foot weighs ten pounds.
  • Every surface must be cleaned and disinfected. Scrub with a heavy-duty cleaner and then use a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water as a disinfectant.
  • Look for anything that can’t be replaced, such as wedding photos and important documents, and try to dry to avoid further damage. Professional restoration can do a lot, but preserve what you can.
  • Remove wet carpeting, bedding, drapes, and furniture etc. If it’s been wet less than two days, it might be salvageable. Again, take plenty of before and after photos and keep samples of discarded carpet, wallpaper, drapes and other items for the adjuster.
  • Take photos of the water line on wallboard. Poke a hold in the wall at floor level to release any trapped water.

Secure Your Property

Homeowners are responsible for preventing further damage as far as possible, such as boarding up windows or covering a leaking roof with a tarp. Take photos to show what you’ve done to protect your property from further damage.

Neptune Flood offers the flood coverage you need that isn’t covered by your homeowner’s policy. You’ll benefit from: temporary living expenses, replacement costs for your furniture and other lost items, including basement contents, repair, and refill of your pool, detached structures and more. Because of Neptune’s advanced technology and insurance know-how, you’ll save money and receive higher coverage limits.

Contact Neptune Flood today for a quote in three minutes.