Hurricane Florence flooded your home…now what?
Hurricane Florence has finally made her slow exit from North Carolina. Unfortunately, in Hurricane Florence’s wake there is a path of destruction from the winds, relentless rain and floodwaters. If you have returned home to flood damage, you may be overwhelmed by the task of cleaning up and starting over. Fortunately, there are many resources that can guide you in safely cleaning up and securing your property.
Before you start the cleanup process, you need to make sure that your location is safe from utility, structural and environmental hazards. Practice safety first: be aware of your surroundings and wear protective clothing when addressing flood damaged property. The NC State Extension office NC Disaster factsheets are a great resource for things you should consider and do in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. Take pictures of the damage prior to clean up to assist with insurance claims and disaster relief assistance. If you are unable to stay in your home, contact FEMA by telephone 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) or visit Disaster Assistance for help.
Is your home covered by homeowners and/or flood insurance? A trained professional can identify wind driven water damage vs. floodwater damage so contact your homeowner policy insurer as well and your flood insurance provider regarding damage. Check out this article from CNBC regarding insurance claims for a general overview of the claim process.
Farmers should immediately contact their crop insurance agent. Document by email or writing the instructions given to you by the agent and follow those instructions carefully. Take photos of flooded fields and damaged crops before the water recedes. Do not destroy any crops unless instructed to do so by your crop insurance agent or adjuster. Contact your local extension office, or contact the attorneys at Mills Law, for more assistance.
Is your property eligible for FEMA Disaster Relief? Call or contact FEMA Disaster Assistance to determine if your property is eligible for assistance. Currently, Federal Disaster Assistance is available in the following North Carolina counties: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne. Is your home outside of these counties? Additional counties maybe added as damage assessments are completed so continue to check with FEMA for possible assistance.
Here is a quick list of Flood Recovery Resources*:
North Carolina State Extension – NC Disaster Factsheets at: https://ncdisaster.ces.ncsu.edu/disaster-factsheets/recovery/
FEMA Disaster Assistance: Telephone number: 770-220-5273
American Red Cross: Telephone number: 800-733-2767
Search for Family Member: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/zf/safesearch/search
Disaster Recovery Guides and Resource Library: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/disaster-relief-and-recovery-services.html
Download the FREE American Red Cross mobile app at Apple App Store or Google Play for updates and emergency information
Find the Red Cross Location nearest to you: https://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter.html
North Carolina Department of Public Safety: https://www.ncdps.gov/news/press-releases/2018/09/18/fema-finding-assistance-after-hurricane-florence
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Flood safety tips: https://www.cdc.gov/features/flood-safety/index.html
Flood damage cleanup: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/cleanup/facts.html
Mold cleanup guide: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup-guide.html
OSHA: Generator safety tips: https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/portable_generator_safety.pdf
*Remember: Your local Police and Fire Department can assist in emergency situations and will have contact information for local flood recovery resources