Step Eight

Prepare for Next Time

While a repeat performance of this disaster may seem remote, it's a good idea to think ahead, especially while your experience is fresh in your mind. The adage that lightning never strikes twice doesn't hold up when it comes to disasters. Floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes may revisit your area.

Buy flood insurance. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, you can purchase flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program through any licensed insurance company or agent. Call your insurance agent, or for a list of agents offering flood insurance in your area, call the National Flood Insurance Program toll-free at 800-427-4661.

Steps to Take

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the extent of loss and damage in future disasters:

  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Develop a flood response plan for your family. Make a list of steps to take before disaster strikes your home.
  • Keep family documents and other important papers in a waterproof, portable container you can grab quickly should you need to evacuate.
  • Monitor your local television and radio stations for storm information.
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors in your home if you have enough time.
  • Take your pets to a kennel or a friend's home on high ground.
  • Tape plastic around the cap of your well to reduce contamination.
  • Turn off electricity, gas, oil, and water.
  • When disaster threatens, fill your car's gas tank in case an evacuation order is issued.

The Eight Steps to Recovery information is from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.