The Mississippi Insurance Department is urging residents to prepare in advance for possible flooding. The state is expecting three to six inches of rain this week, which will cause potential flash and river flooding.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said there are steps homeowners can take to help protect themselves, their family and property from rising flood waters regardless of whether they have flood insurance or not.
Chaney advices residents to prepare emergency kits and have an evacuation route in case of flooding. He said it's important to put documents in a waterproof bag with names and addresses on those items to avoid losing them in a flood.
"Copy your most important documents you may lose if you get water into your home," Chaney said. "I'm talking about things like mortgages, deeds, insurance policies, passports, bank information and birth certificates if you have them on your children, and store the originals in a secure place that's water proof located outside of the home."
Chaney said a typical homeowner's policy does not cover flooding, that's why he advises residents who live in flood prone areas to purchase flood insurance.
"If you got an inch of water in a thousand square foot home it can cost up to 10 thousand dollars in damage. "It's important to understand why you need flood insurance although you say this area is never flooded, people said that during Katrina and the place is still flooded. The main thing about flood insurance is that you want to protect your property one and also have a place to come back to live in after the waters reside. "
Flood insurance must be purchased 30 days in advance of a flood. The National Flood Insurance Program offers insurance averaging 650 dollars per year.