Heavy Rains and Flooding in New Orleans: Stay Safe and Clean Up
Updated August 5, 2017 at 7:16 PM
Heavy rains caused flooding across New Orleans yesterday, Saturday, Aug. 5. If your property was damaged, contact your insurer, document the damage, and clean up safely. If your home flooded and you need assistance, contact the American Red Cross at 504-620-3105.
File a claim for flood damage to your home or business
Read more on how to file a claim from FEMA.
1. Start the claims process by contacting your insurer
After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. 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
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.
2. Document the damage
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.
3. Complete a proof of loss to support your claim
Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You'll need to file your Proof of Loss 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.
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. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.
File a claim for flood damage to your vehicle
Contact your car insurance company.
Clean up safely
NOLA Ready guide to cleaning up after a disaster
- Don't return home until authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters can erode roads and walkways.
- Stay away from standing water. It might be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Mold can become a serious problem. Act fast to prevent mold growth.
- Air out your house or vehicle by opening doors and windows to remove indoor moisture.
- Clean wet or moldy surfaces with bleach. See the guide on the following page for how to safely clean with bleach.
- Use fans to dry wet building materials, carpets, and furniture within 48 hours.
- Throw away anything that you can’t clean or dry quickly.
- If mold growth is large, contact a licensed mold removal professional.