As Hurricane Sandy, one of the largest storms on record, punishes the East Coast with rain, winds and rising waters, homeowners need to know what to do to protect their homes. Just one inch of flood water in a 2,000-square-foot home can cause almost $21,000 in damage, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., with half of the costliest hurricanes occurring in the last decade. Flood waters can seep into furniture, flooring, walls, lighting, electronics, appliances and irreplaceable keepsakes and photos. Annual premiums for flood insurance on a single-family one-story home average about $400-$450 nationwide, and can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.

With Hurricane Sandy flooding the east coast, we encourage you to revisit what to do before, during, and after a flood.

Before a Flood: Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. Make sure you have the proper insurance to cover any damages.

Homeowner’s Insurance vs. Natural Disaster Insurance

Hurricane Ahead: A Disaster Game Plan For All Homeowners

During a Flood: Your safety is most important during a flood. Find higher ground and stay there.

Flood Insurance: What To Do Before, During and After a Flood

If you have internet access, you should be able to find information about where the storm is located and the water depths. For Hurricane Sandy, NPR affiliate WNYC published a flood gauge.

After a Flood: Proper documentation of flood damage is critical for speedy insurance claims.

Tips for Documenting Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

Home Repairs After Natural Disaster

Natural Disaster Insurance Claims: What To Do When A Natural Disaster Strikes

I’ve added links here to all of our Flood & Natural Disaster Insurance Tips. You’ll find information about how to document and submit insurance claims, and going forward what insurance you may need if you live in a storm zone.

Natural Disaster Insurance Claims, What to do When a Natural Disaster Strikes

Homeowners Insurance Vs. Natural Disaster Insurance

Let’s Stop Denying It, We Need to Buy Earthquake and Flood Insurance Now

Tips for Documenting Homeowners Insurance Claims

3 Things That May Not Be Covered By Your Homeowners Insurance But You Still Need

Flood Insurance What to do Before During and After a Flood

Feel free to leave any flood or natural disaster insurance questions in the comments below and we will get you an answer as fast as possible.

Everyone stay safe out there. We’re wishing you the best.