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Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today advised New York homeowners, in preparation for the fall hurricane season, to review the option to purchase flood insurance, which is typically not included in your homeowners policy. Flood insurance is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program.

When purchasing property it is important to find out the areas flood potential. If your area is prone to flooding on a yearly or seasonal basis, you may want to:

  • Purchase a weather radio.
  • Plan a course of action in the event flooding does occur.
  • Keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, lumber, and garbage bags around.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food.
  • Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment and flashlights in working order.

After a flood hits and the water begins to recede it's important to keep the following tips in mind to maintain your health and safety:

  • Do not consume fresh food that has come in contact with flood water.
  • Boil drinking water before drinking. Water in wells should be pumped out and tested for purity.
  • Do not drive through flooded roads. You won't know how deep the water is and your car could be swept away.
  • Do not let children play near drainage systems.
  • Do not enter damaged areas. You may be putting yourself in danger and cause a distraction to rescue and recovery operations. If you are allowed to survey damage, do not use an open flame for light.
  • Report any damaged utility lines.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. Electricity could still be flowing.

In addition, the Insurance Department’s toll-free hotline offers assistance with flood-related insurance inquiries or complaints. The toll-free number is 1-800-342-3736. The Department’s hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by insurance experts from the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau.


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