A flood hits your house and there is water and mud everywhere. You know you have flood insurance that will help with the cleanup, but you also know that you need to take some first steps to help save those things that are valuable to you.
Books: You probably won't be able to save every book. So, decide on the ones that are the most valuable to you. Use both hands to pick up books so that the water-soaked spine does not become damaged. Place the books flat on a flat surface that is covered with towels. You want the towels to absorb the water. Place paper towels between groups of pages. Be careful to not place so many you break the binding. Once or twice a day, remove the towels and replace with dry ones.
Photographs: If you don't have time to dry out the photographs immediately, place them in a zippered bag and put them in the refrigerator. Then, when you have time, rinse with clean water and place on a dry surface to dry. Be careful not to dry in direct sunlight as that will further damage the photographs.
Furniture: Move furniture to a dry spot. Rinse off if there is mud or debris sticking to it. Then dry off with a soft towel. We don't have much on furniture because it can be hard to save. Saving furniture is best left to a professional that can help you with repairs and restorations.
Computers: Move computers to a dry place and allow them to dry completely. Then take them to a data recovery place and see if they can access the hard drive.
Hit by a flood? If you take action as soon as possible, you can save some of your valuables with these steps. As soon as you contact your independent insurance agent, he or she can give you tips for who to call for cleanup and that service will have additional tips for you.
Reading this and realizing you don't have flood insurance? Then this might be a good time to call and have that conversation with an agent today.