An Oklahoma couple thought they were always prepared for the area’s natural catastrophes – tornadoes, ice storms, and yes, even fire storms. Part of their “always ready” preparation included keeping their important files updated on an external hard drive, stored in their laptop backpack. Similar to when Arizona has monsoon season like flooding and winds.
A separate travel bag contained irreplaceable documents, DVDs of family photos, and medical testing CDs. Finally, one last bag remained on-call to be filled with medications, including syringes and insulin for their diabetic dog. Indeed, they seemed to be ready to evacuate quickly if the need arose. Yet, there was one catastrophe of which they never imagined – flooding by burst pipe connections in the attic.
Carly, who was home alone at the time of the incident, working in her home office, thought she heard running water. Reassuring herself that no appliances requiring water were running, she dismissed the sounds for several minutes until the running water sounds seemed to increase, as if someone was running bath water.
To Carly’s horrified discovery as she walked out of her office to investigate the sounds, she saw the kitchen ceiling literally “raining”, and ran to the garage to shut off the main water valve. Next, she phoned Jeff, her husband, to report the situation, and then phoned their insurance agent to file a claim.
Jeff had voiced his concerns to Carly that with it being Memorial Day weekend, she needed to find a plumber who could come out that very day and fix the pipe connections.
Finding a reputable plumber was not an easy task, but Carly was able to find a local company who sent out a plumber to repair the two connections which had burst. Jeff and Carly paid dearly for this repair, but it was sufficient to get them through the holiday weekend.
Before hearing back from their insurance agent about sending out a cleanup crew, Carly began removing the water which had spread through the kitchen, laundry room, master bedroom and living room.
When the cleanup crew arrived, they began the immediate process of water removal and drying out affected areas.
So, are you ready for a flood in your home? Take a few tips from Jeff and Carly’s experience to be ready should this catastrophe happen to you:
• Know where your main water shut off is located and how to shut it off.
• Have your insurance agent’s phone number readily accessible, including his home and cell phone numbers. A reputable agent will share this information with you.
• Familiarize yourself with what your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover:
o Repair or replacement to damaged areas/items
o Lodging while the cleanup crew dries all water-soaked areas and inspects/treats for potential mold
• If possible, begin removing as much water as possible even before the cleanup crew arrives – water must be removed and the drying process must begin within 24 hours of the flooding event.
Now that you know a little bit about one couple’s home flood experience, there is one more point to be made – be sure to have our phone number alongside your homeowner’s insurance agent’s number for quick response and resolution.