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Ida Aftermath: What Do You Do If You Didn't Have Flood Insurance Before The Storm Hit?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Many people in the Tri-State Area left with little to nothing after Ida are trying to figure out what to do next.

Some are processing insurance claims, but what about help for those who didn't have insurance before the storm hit? CBS2's Jessica Moore has what you need to know.

Gov. Kathy Hochul met with residents in Yonkers on Friday, where the state Department of Finance mobile command center was ready to help storm victims like Ivette Barreto.

"I had severe flooding in my basement," she said. "This is the third time that this happened to us."

"They'll sit down with you, help you fill out the paperwork and understand what you need to do," Hochul said.

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In the hours after Ida, many are scrambling to figure out what they lost and what exactly is covered under their insurance policies.

"What kind of things should homeowners or renters do right after a disaster hits to make sure that their claims are actually processed and they get the money that's owed them?" Moore asked property damage appraiser Tom Mallen.

"So document. You want to take really, take good pictures, document all the damage. Take inventory of not only just the property, but the contents that were damaged," he said.

He says many basic homeowner insurance policies don't cover flood damage, unless the policy holder opted into that coverage before the storm.

For people who didn't have flood insurance before the storm, help is still available.

The Salvation Army has a dozen emergency hubs set up in the hardest hit areas ready to provide flood cleanup kits and basic needs.

"Clothing, replacement of furniture, food assistance. The refrigerator got destroyed, they're throwing it out. Utility assistance, and then complete relocation," said Major Kevin Stoops with the Salvation Army.


Grants may also be available to the uninsured or underinsured now that President Joe Biden approved emergency declarations for New York and New Jersey.

Residents can also apply for FEMA assistance by phone or online.

As many people try to prepare for the next disaster, experts advise renters to secure a policy that covers not only their possessions, but money for alternate housing in the event of severe flooding.

As for homeowners, often times spending more for a full coverage policy ends up paying off.

To apply for FEMA assistance and to find other resources, click here.

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