As the county works with local, state and federal leaders to open the door for federal recovery assistance, County Judge Craig Doyal asks residents affected by the floods to take the appropriate steps to determine the extent of the damage from this week’s flooding.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who suffered in this week’s flooding and with those who are dealing with property losses,” Judge Doyal said. “This was a terrible tragedy.”
Gov. Greg Abbott, in response to a request from County Judge Craig Doyal, has made a formal disaster declaration for Texas counties including Montgomery County.
Judge Doyal, in conjunction with the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, requests residents affected by the floods to take the following actions:
Help us help you, by reporting flood damage to your home. We encourage residents to visit mctxoem.org to submit a residential damage report, and/or they may call 936-523-3916 or the United Way 281-292-4155 ext. 245. This will help the Office of Emergency Management prepare a formal assessment of the total number of affected structures, this is required for the County and State to qualify for federal recovery assistance.
· If your car was towed contact Montgomery County Sheriff’s office at 936-760-5800.
· If your home has suffered damage, call your insurance agent to file a claim.
· Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
· Take photos of any floodwater in your home and save any damaged personal property.
· Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.
· Save all receipts from purchases made in your recovery efforts.
Cleaning and Sanitizing to Prevent Mold Damage and Flood Related Illness
· Turn off main power if wiring is wet or moldy. Have an electrician check the house’s electrical system before turning power on again.
· Open the house to fresh air when the humidity is lower outside than inside.
· Use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture unless mold has already started to grow (fans may spread existing mold).
· Use the HACV system only if the ducts have not been inundated (any forced air central heating ducts that have come in contact with water or mold should be professionally checked).
· Remove all wet items such as furniture, rugs, bedding, toys, carpeting, ceiling tiles, drywall and wood by-products. If wallboard is soaked, remove to a foot (12″) above the water mark and discard. Drain walls by removing baseboard and drilling holes near floor. Dry panel-type wall by pulling the bottom edge out from studs. Check interior of the wall for hidden mold.
· Remove all wet insulation. Discard all but rigid insulation, which can be reinstalled after disinfecting and drying.
· Discard soaked or moldy carpeting.
· Clean all other items first with soap and warm clean water to remove dirt and debris. Next, sanitize surfaces with one cup household liquid bleach per every 5 gallons of water. Be sure to wear boots and gloves when cleaning.
· Discard all possibly contaminated food products – anything not in a water tight container.
Filing your claim
You can file your flood insurance claim by following these three steps:
After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again. Make sure you have the following information handy:
· The name of your insurance company
· Your policy number
· A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times
Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.
· Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
· Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
· Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.
Your adjuster will provide you a Proof of Loss form for your official claim for damages. You’ll need to file this claim with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.
· Beware of scams, use only reputable companies
You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss form. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.
More information is available at the following link: www.floodsmart.gov