How to be prepared for a flooding situation; Flood insurance and how to protect your valuables

When it comes to natural disasters, flooding is the most common in the world, and it's the most deadly.

Linda Berno and her Yorkie, Molly, lived through the devastating floods in Henryetta in 2013, but they didn't come out with much.

"It totaled my house, everything in it. Had to cut out four foot of wall," said Linda.

She remembers going to bed that night thinking she was safe

"I went to bed at three in the morning. I looked at radar, everything looked good, and by the time the water was in my house, it was so fast, you didn't have time to do anything," she said.

Her son called to warn her, but by that time, all she could do was grab Molly.

"I grabbed her and started up the hall and water was rushing toward me," said Berno, "It was coming up out of the vents, it was like fountains, you could hear it," she said.

It was too late for her to drive away.

"I could hear a noise and it sounded like something coming through the wall, and it was my Explorer and it buckled my garage door in two places. Floating in there, the water trying to shove it out the door," said Berno.

So, she called 9-1-1.

"Me and my dog rode on top of the fire truck," she said.

Linda did not have time to prepare, but she did the right thing by getting out as soon as she could.

Tim Craighton, Director of Emergency Management in Okmulgee County, was there when more than 100 people had to evacuate during the 2013 flood.

"When asked to leave, it's best to get up and get out and be gone," said Craighton.

Another tip, don't drive into moving water. More people die in flash flooding events than any other weather disaster.

"It takes very little water, you know, six inches of water will float most these cars off the road these days," said Craighton.

Flood waters are unpredictable, there's no way to tell how fast or how much water could be coming, which makes it tough to prepare.

But there are some things you can do, like check your flood insurance.

"Most homeowner's insurance do not cover flooding, it takes a flood insurance policy to cover flooding in your home," said Craighton.

Make sure your important documents are secured in safe high area or an easy to grab place, and take inventory of what you own, using cell phone video or pictures.

"Should something happen, you can take that video to an insurance agent and go, 'Here's what was in my home,'" said Craighton.

Linda is tallying up everything she lost, and putting her life back together, nearly a year after the flood.

She carried flood insurance for 21 years, but it lapsed for just six weeks before she lost everything.

"I've learned over time that those material things really don't mean that much, so you just do with as little as you can. Me and my dog got out and I love my dog," said Linda.

 

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