Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Floods are a nightmare for any homeowner. They’re damaging, they’re unstoppable, and they can be at your door before you realize it. Even a small flood that never reaches your first floor can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your basement. Here are 20 photos that reveal just how much damage floods can wreak … and how to protect yourself as much as possible.

Look at these 20 flood damage photos and then to make sure that you don’t end up with some flood damage pictures of your own then make sure that you take steps to protect your home.

Most importantly, be sure that you compare insurance quotes and protect yourself from massive out of pocket cost with adequate flood insurance and home insurance (note that your standard homeowners insurance policy DOES NOT cover flood damage – you must add on additional flood coverage as a rider or separate policy!)

#1 Check how likely your area is to flood. It’s not just about being in a floodplain: if you’re at a
low point in any geographic area, rain can pool, especially if city drainage systems get
overwhelmed. Ask your town safety authority about possible flooding risks.

#2 Remember that floods can be caused by a wide variety of sources, not just overfilling
rivers. They can be triggered by heavy rainstorms, blocked drains or water mains breaking.

#3 Basement floods can seem like more of an annoyance, but they can damage your
foundation,
ruin your water heater and furnace, and — in extreme circumstances — render
a home unlivable in just a few short hours. If you see water in your basement, have a
professional look into it immediately.

#4 Check your insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance generally doesn’t include flood
coverage: even “comprehensive” insurance can require you to purchase separate flood
insurance. It doesn’t cost much, and it’ll save you a lot of aggravation to have it handy.

#5 Make copies of all your valuable documents, such as your insurance policies, your passports,
etc. Store the originals in a safe deposit box and use the copies for daily reference.

#6 If you see even minor damage, quickly investigate it: it may be a sign of larger problems.

#7 Even a small amount of water in your house can cause damage to wiring, give mold and
bacteria places to breed, and even open up your house to insects. Have your house
inspected immediately after a flood, no matter how minor.

#8 This is true even of basements: have the home checked thoroughly, especially for mold.

#9 For each major purchase, such as a TV, make a scan of the receipt and take a picture of the
item.
Store all this information online (through a Flickr account, for instance).

#10 Keep a detailed floor plan of your house stored with an online backup service. In addition to
the floor plan, take photographs of each room of your house. Keep those photographs
regularly updated.

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#11 Keep documentation of any valuable personal items, such as jewelry or antiques. Have them
professionally appraised, and keep the results of the appraisal in your safety deposit box with
your insurance policy and other documents.

#12 Keep your computer backed up using an online backup service. Run the backups weekly to
preserve your valuable documents and sentimental items: for example, it’s a good idea to
scan and backup any family photos you have that weren’t taken digitally.

#13 Prepare a flood backup kit: fill a waterproof container or safe with a prepaid cellphone, an
emergency credit card, a small stash of cash, clean clothes in a vacuum-sealed bag, solar-
powered flashlights and radio, freeze-dried or canned meals, and a list of emergency phone
numbers.

#14 Carefully monitor weather reports, especially if there’s heavy rain approaching your area.
Get your family ready to evacuate if necessary, and choose a high-ground location to
evacuate to.

#15 Do not go out or drive in dangerous weather unless it is absolutely necessary. If your home
begins to flood and the weather is still dangerous, go outside but stay close to your house
and try to avoid exposure to the elements as much as possible.

#16 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get on the list of volunteers for flood-
control duty. Every hand laying sandbags helps, and not only protects your home, but
others, too.

#17 Coordinate with your neighbors on a flood safety plan. Write out a list of children, elderly,
disabled, and others in your neighborhood who may not be able to help themselves in a flood
situation. Share it with as many neighbors as possible.

#18 A penny in the bank is worth two in your home. While you should have some emergency
cash in your flood kit, also set aside a larger sum in an online bank account for bigger
purchases or long-term use.

#19 If your home does flood, collect your flood kit and get out. Valuables can be replaced by
your insurance: your life can’t.

#20 After any flooding, gather your documentation and call your insurance company immediately.
It will likely be a busy time for them, but be polite and persistent. Keep all the originals of
any documentation you have: send them scans or copies of documentation and only present
originals in person.

Protecting Your Home (While Saving $$$)

While none of this can keep the roaring waters from your door, it can ensure that, should your home get flooded, your valuables are returned to you quickly and safely, and that you and your family remain unhurt. Remember this rule: you are more important than your things. Put your own health and safety, and that of your family, first. Why not enter your zip code in now and make sure that you are comparing insurance providers to find the very best insurance coverage at the very best price?