Flooding is possible and it can happen anywhere in the world. These past days have been worrisome regarding the recent flooding in Lagos, Suleja and 14 other states in Nigeria; if you didn’t experience it, the pictures and videos sent via the internet and social media and other news outlets made it real to you, so you can probably relate in some way. But if it’s still difficult to imagine, then let’s paint you a scenario or two, then help you understand what you can do after such an unwelcome experience.
So here you are enjoying your sleep and you are really cold, you have tried to cover up with your blanket, put off the fan as you did not bother with your air conditioner. You decide to stand up and get your really thick sweater and as you put your feet down on the floor, your feet sink inside very cold water; your house is flooded!!! Or you have been looking forward to this epoch-making meeting that your CEO has been talking about because you know, that once you start speaking, you got the deal. Yes, it’s raining but your environs look okay plus you drive an SUV, so you don’t give it a second thought till you’re out braving the flooded streets or highway in the rain and you notice you cannot see your car’s headlights, and yes, water entered your car.
One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience is a flood. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Nigeria and almost every country has experienced floods in its lands. Floods are a costly natural disaster and have caused millions of Naira in damage every year, it’s mostly caused by heavy torrential rains over a period. Though it’s a strong natural disaster, if in addition there are no proper working drainages, the possibility of it drying up fast is very low as the water has no free place to flow out to.
No matter the cause, knowing what to do before and after as a flood victim will help you brace up and deal with the situation with hope.
1. Safety First
It’s important you always keep yourself and what is yours safe. When the rains start, ensure you are always on the alert, noting news, weather reports and basically monitoring your surroundings. Turn off power sources, elevate some ground level electrical appliances, cover water wells, this is in case the floods enter your house. The heavier and more consistent the rains, the higher the possibilities of flooding. During a flood, don’t walk or drive in moving water, you can fall or the rain could carry your car away [Don’t drive through flooded roadways], in fact just turn back safely. You may even be forced to leave your home or car if the flooding is bad enough and only return when you’re sure it’s safe.
2. Assess and secure
Before your life gets back to normal, there are quite a number of things to sort out. As the property (car, house or office) owner, it’s your responsibility to secure it so that no additional damage or theft occurs. Your flooded car should be taken care of by a mechanic, don’t bother doing this yourself. Do a check of the affected building, assessing the extent of damage you can see. Check that your water supply is okay to use – [the water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage]. Water may also be electrically charged from downed power lines, keep the power off until an electrician has inspected the system for safety. All electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service. Do not enter a building if it is still flooded or surrounded by floodwater. Check for visible structural damage, cracks, and holes before entering your home or car, then contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water and electricity. And then call your insurance company.
Another thing you should do after a flooding is to stop the source of water coming in if this is possible. The sooner the water is stopped, the sooner the process of cleaning up and repairing damages can begin. Depending on the level of flooding, you will need buckets or hoses to drain water out, then wet vacuum can be used to drain remaining bits of water and moisture from carpets and floors. If the damage is minimal, a simple mop work is all that is needed. Keep windows and doors open for ventilation, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. You can begin to clean up yourself if you are exceptionally handy, otherwise, it is probably best to call in a professional company that specializes in flood clean up as the work might be too much for you to handle. This should also involve determining what is salvageable and throwing away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. Remember to pump out the water in your boreholes or wells and the water tested for purity before using.
4. Recovery & Repairs
Once the water is gone and you have called your insurance company, it’s time to begin post-flood care. The aftermath of a flood can typically take the longest amount of time to clean up or repair. You may have broken windows from the water rushing in, flooring that may need to be replaced, and broken possessions in need of repair. Use flood-resistant materials and techniques. Park your car in a elevated spot always and with a covering. For your building (house or office) consciously elevate electrical components and utilities [washers, fridges, beds, television] above the potential flood height. You also need to consider elevation of the entire structure. Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent the spread of mould and mildew to reduce the health risks associated with mould exposure. Note, don’t do this by yourself, always call in the experts or you might get hurt.
5. Get The Flood Insurance Advantage
Dependable and serious Nigerian insurance companies do provide flood insurance under Fire and Special Peril Insurance; depending on the policy, FSP insurance should cover flood from minor leaks to major floods. Car insurance does cover flood damage to cars, if only the policy is extended to cover flood on your comprehensive auto insurance as opposed to the minimal Third-Party Motor Insurance as stated by Law in Nigeria. Usually, flood extension in comprehensive motor insurance, makes provision for cover of flood damage to your insured car. A flood can easily total out a car and the only way to get your insurance company to pay for the repairs or your total loss is to purchase comprehensive coverage with flood extension on your policy. The insurance company will assess the damage and determine the level of reparation required. If your losses and damages are covered, the sooner you call the insurance company, the sooner they will pay out. Repairs can become costly, but the insurance money will help make repairs less of a financial burden on you.
Truth is, floods happen often and without warning, that is why it is important to think of them and prepare for them before they happen. Getting your car or home insured will help you deal with the stress and if you’re yet to, it’s a smart idea to invest in an insurance plan now, before it’s too late. Protect what is yours from flood which is crucial especially if you live in high risk flood zone. If you would like to get started on a flood covered insurance plan for your car, visit www.compareinsurance.com.ng.
This article is provided by compareinsurance.c
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