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The Egg Harbor Flood: How to Cope When Waters Start to Rise

Cars driving through a flooded street

It wasn’t the worst flood in the region’s history, but last year’s Egg Harbor flooding was definitely in the top 10.

And Egg Harbor flooding may only get worse as time goes on. As the Press of Atlantic City reported last year, precipitation totals on the wettest day of the year have slowly risen over the last 70 years. The number of rain events greater than two inches has gone from a little more than 10 in 1980 to around 30 in 2010.

The idea of a flood can be frightening. As with any emergency, you’ll do well to keep a cool head and be prepared. Here are a few ways to get ready for the next flood and alleviate flood damage.

1. Stay informed

Having the information you need when you need it is crucial during an emergency. Find out if your community has a text or email alert system to send residents emergency notifications.

You might also want to consider investing in a National Weather Service radio, which you can find at many electronics or big box stores. Make sure you have plenty of extra batteries, so you can listen to the radio if you lose power.

2. Evacuation routes

Your safest bet during a flood is to leave the area if an evacuation advisory is issued. You’ll need to act quickly, which means coming up with a plan now:

  • Find out your community’s flood evacuation plan. Identify multiple escape routes in case roads are blocked.
  • Make sure your car is fueled up and in good condition.
  • If you’ll be sharing transportation, or using public transit, make arrangements now. Talk to your local emergency management agency how an evacuation will work.
  • Identify a place away from home where you can stay for an extended period.

You should also figure out how you and your family will communicate with each other in case the evacuation happens at a time when not everyone is at home. Keep important numbers written down and in your wallet, not simply storing them in your phone.

3. The five Ps of evacuation

Make a list of the things you’ll need to take with you if you need to evacuate. FEMA recommends using the “Five Ps” of evacuation:

  • People – Who’s coming with you? Can you safely take your pets?
  • Prescriptions – In addition to medication, pack medical equipment, glasses, hearing aids, batteries and power cords
  • Papers – This includes important documents, as well as electronic copies stored on external hard drives or thumb drives
  • Personal needs – Clothes, food, water, cash, your phone and its charger, and a first aid kit
  • Priceless items – The things you can’t replace, including photos and other valuables

You should also store important documents you’ll need during recovery – insurance and rental/mortgage agreements – in a waterproof, fireproof container. Get photos or videos of every room to record the contents of your home.

4. Manage your risk

You may not be able to keep flood waters out of your home, but you can take steps to mitigate flood damage in your home:

  • Waterproof your basement
  • Make sure drains and gutters are free of debris
  • If you live in a place that sees a lot of flooding, put together a stockpile of emergency building materials, such as plywood, plastic sheeting and sandbags
  • Elevate your heating system water heater and electric panel if they’re in a place that’s prone to flooding

Also, make sure you have flood insurance. Homeowners insurance policies will usually not cover flooding, which means you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy.

Egg Harbor flooding: A public adjuster can help

If you’re dealing with flooding in Egg Harbor or anywhere else in New Jersey, a licensed public adjuster like the ones at Interstate Public Adjuster can help your recovery.

We can make sure your rights are protected at every stage of your insurance claim, help assess the extent of the damage to your home and use that assessment to negotiate a settlement.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can make sure your rights are protected.

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