The state of Tennessee declared a state of emergency last week after major storms ravaged through the area, triggering flash flooding in northwest Tennessee, including Nashville as well as areas of Kentucky.
“This line of thunderstorms didn’t merely sweep through, but rather trained over parts of Kentucky and Tennessee like boxcars of a train moving over the same section of a railroad track, bringing repeated rounds of heavy rain over one inch per hour,” said Senior Meteorologist Jonathan Erdman on Weather.com.
While no deaths or injuries have been reported by local media, flash floods can be very devastating to you and your property. Here are some important possessions you should keep safe or on you at all times in the event of a flash flood.
It is always important to keep your driver’s license, state ID, or passport on you at all times, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Depending on the severity of the flash flood, you and your family may be forced to stay in a shelter, such as an American Red Cross one. Volunteers and other workers may request to see ID to keep track of all individuals staying in the shelter to better assist them. In case of an emergency, shelters can also help locate families or friends who have been separated during a flood.
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It is smart to keep an extra set of your medication supply inside your purse, first-aid kit, or disaster supply kit. Flash floods may cause pharmacy closures areawide and you may not be able to reach your doctor for a new prescription.
Flash floods can trigger major power outages in your area, leaving malfunctioning ATM and credit/debit card machines. Make sure to keep sufficient money that will sustain you and your family for a certain period of time.
Should something catastrophic happen, everybody’s birth, marriage, and death certificates need to be in a safe place. These documents are often hard to replace or take a long time to acquire after misplacement or damage.
Insurance policies are important things to keep guarded during a flash flood. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program says the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss is to have flood insurance, because damage can cost thousands of dollars. Policies are available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters.
FloodSmart.gov has an extensive guide to all things insurance, from the basics about what’s covered to determining policy rates and finding agents in your area. It is important that you have a copy of any policy with you to present in the future to insurance companies in case the original is damaged in the flood.
Your documents should be kept in a safe deposit box, and copies in a waterproof and fire-resistant container. That way they’re accessible when you need them the most.
Multiple disputes can arise between insurance companies and policyholders, especially if there has been property damage during a flash flood. Companies can be caught acting in poor faith or refusing to honor the validity of a claim. If you’ve faced such problems, visit our insurance page to learn what our attorneys can do to help.