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Are you in Good Hands?

For many people, the recent damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria made just how devastating flood damage can be all too real. Making matters even more stressful, it can feel overwhelming to try to recoup your losses to homes and other property, especially since flood coverage is not part of most homeowner’s policies. To make the recovery process easier, here are key steps to take:

• Initiate damage control. When entering a flooded house, use caution; check for structural damage before entering to avoid being trapped in a collapse, keep the power off until an electrician has inspected your system and watch out for slippery surfaces and debris like nails and bottles. After a flood, survey the damage and take photos of harm to your property or possessions so you can document your losses. Separate damaged property from intact items and make a list of the damaged items, including descriptions and brand names, where the items were purchased and how much they cost; if you have bills or receipts for them, attach them to the list. Note any visible damage, making a list of areas that were ravaged so you can point them out to an insurance adjuster. Look out for damages to the property’s foundation, jams or breaks of windows or doors, weakened drywall, degraded sheathing, swelling wood and spoiled flooring.

• Clean Damaged Belongings. With great caution, prioritize valuable heirlooms. Generally, air-drying indoors is best for treasured belongings, to avoid more exposure to the elements and to sunlight. Photographs can be rinsed in clean water and air-dried. Paper towels can be places in between book pages.

Throw away water-damaged kitchen goods. This includes canned and boxed foods and paper items. But try not to trash damaged furniture or other items until an adjuster has seen it; if you feel that you must (to prevent mold growth, for instance), take photos of the ruined item before you get rid of it and keep a sample for the adjuster to see (a piece of damaged wall-to-wall carpet, for instance).

Did You Know?

Flooding can happen anywhere and flood coverage is not part of a standard homeowner's policy.

• File a claim. If you bought a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy through an Allstate agency, call 1-800-54-STORM or contact your agent to help with the process. (You can find details about how to handle a flood damage claim on this Federal Emergency Management Agency site.) If you didn’t purchase flood insurance, keep in mind that you may qualify for government assistance programs (check out: www.disasterassistance. gov and the Good Hands Recovery Guide). In many cases, auto flood protection is covered on Allstate auto policies if you purchased comprehensive coverage.

• Prepare for the future. You can’t do anything to turn back the clock on what’s already happened but you can take action to better cover yourself in the future. Flooding can happen anywhere, so it’s smart to prepare for the possibility even if you don’t live in hurricane territory or high-risk flood zone.

Keep track of your belongings using Digital Locker, a free and easy to use app that lets you create an inventory of your home's items and allows you to access your information quickly should you ever need to make a claim in the future.

To reduce the risk of damage to your home down the road, clear debris from gutters and downspouts, anchor any fuel tanks, and decide on a home flooding mitigation method by reading FEMA’s Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting. And remember that an Allstate agent can support you with a flood insurance policy no matter where you live.




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  • YOUR SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY The recent hurricanes have affected many communities. We're here to help make recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you're looking for disaster assistance or want to prepare your family for the unexpected, we've put together the Good Hands Recovery Guide so you have the resources and information you need.