|By Zlati Meyer, Detroit Free Press|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
1. Take lots of pictures of the damage to your home and property. Documentation is key.
2. Call your insurance agent to find out what your policy includes and if possible, make a claim right away. Some cover water back-ups and sump pump overflow, which means water comes up through the drains, but if water came through the front of your house, you may have had to own flood insurance to be covered.
3. Call a certified restoration company -- though be prepared to wait, while they service their many calls.
4. While waiting for the pros, use a Shop-Vac or similar device to begin to get the water out of your home.
5. Move undamaged items that are already above the water line to a dry area, so they're not affected by the residual moisture.
6. Put tinfoil under furniture with legs to prevent dye transfers. For example, stain from a wooden couch leg could leach into your carpet.
7. If it's stormwater and not sewage, consider using soap and water, rather than bleach, to start cleaning things off.
8. Air dry wet photos.
9. Don't store wet fabrics in piles or plastic bags because that encourages mold and mildew growth. If possible, hang them up, preferably outside in the sun, but not dry clean-only fabrics, like some window treatments. They should be dried indoors.
10. Stuffed animals, shoes, purses, belts and other leather and fabric items should be taken to a textile restorer.
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