About 41 million Americans live in areas that are in danger of being flooded by rising streams and rivers. That doesn’t include oceans and strong storms that are increasing in intensity due to climate change.

Even if you live inland, your home could be in danger of flooding due to a strong storm that dumps a lot of rain. If you find yourself in this situation, you should know what to do if your house floods.

Read on to learn the most important steps you should take when your house floods.

  1. Check Your Insurance Policy

The first thing you need to do is hope that you have enough insurance coverage. You may already have flood insurance along with your standard homeowner’s policy.

One caveat that many homeowners with insurance don’t know is that the flood could be caused by a sump pump failure. There may have been too much water for it to keep up.

If your power goes out, the sump pump will stop working altogether, leaving you with a flooded basement. There’s a good chance that your sump pump isn’t covered in your insurance policy. Most insurance policies treat this as separate from your homeowner’s policy.

Check with your insurance company, and if you’re not sure, head to Betterflood.com for flood insurance.

  1. Assess the Damage

If you have a few inches in the basement, then you can stay in your home until it subsides. However, if the water is rising, you need to evacuate as soon as you can.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll need to assess the damage. You should take pictures of the damages to show your insurance company what was damaged.

  1. Clean Up

After you assess the damage and work with your insurance company, it’s time to clean up. If you have major flooding in your home, you should call a restoration company.

If you had a few inches of water, then start by getting rid of the items that were damaged in the flood.

You’ll need to cut the sheetrock above the highest water line because mold can develop. You’ll also need to get rid of any insulation and let the frame dry out for about a week. You’ll also need commercial fans and dehumidifiers to help dry out space.

Get ready to order a dumpster as well. This could be hard to come by if everyone in your area suffered flooding, too. If it takes a while to get a dumpster, get everything out of the house and into your yard or driveway until you can get a dumpster.

The most important thing is that you get all of the wet and damaged goods out of your home.

What to Do if Your House Floods

It doesn’t take much for a home to flood. One powerful storm could leave you with a lot of water in your basement or worse. You need to know what to do if your house floods even if you don’t live near water.

With climate change, just about anything can happen. If you’re ready for more home tips, check out the Remodeling section of this site.