Did Miami’s flooding cause your car to sink and your roof to leak? You have some options

May 29 – South Florida experienced some of the worst flooding in years this week. And while much of the water has receded, the heavy rain has left damage for several days.

Maybe your roof is leaking. Or your floors are soaked from the lake on your street. Or maybe your car’s interior or engine got wet.

Here are some tips on how to deal with the damage:

Help, there’s water in my car. Can i ride it?

No, do not start the car when it is under running water. If the water level is high, push it out or have it towed. Turning the vehicle on can damage the engine and cause other problems, according to AutoZone instructions.

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To protect yourself from electrical shock, disconnect the battery while inspecting the rest of the vehicle. The oil, fuel, air, and electrical systems may need servicing if water enters them. Most comprehensive auto insurance plans cover flood damage.

My roof was leaking and water seeped through the floors. Which insurance do I call?

Before repairs, take photos of the damage. Protection may be needed as floods can contain toxic substances.

Most homeowner insurance plans cover damage from a roof leak, but according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flood insurance is required to repair damage from water leaking through the doors. Investing in flood insurance can protect homeowners from financial stress.

“Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, affecting all regions and states,” according to FEMA. “Floods can cause physical, emotional and financial devastation.”

An example of what could happen: The American Red Cross coordinated emergency relief for more than 60 families affected by this week’s floods, 39 of whom lived in a RV community in Miami.

Most home tenant insurance policies require separate insurance for damage caused by natural disasters.

The street is flooded. Can my children play in it?

Walking through floodwater is not advisable as it can hide dirt, sharp objects and electrical cables underneath. The water can be deeper than it looks and pose a hazard to pedestrians and drivers.

“It is never a good idea to go or drive to flooded areas,” said Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

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