Geohazards : are you at risk?

Following the devastating flash floods that swept across Aude last week, claiming 13 lives, the French government has created a new website in a bid to help residents identify, and therefore prepare for, natural disasters in their area.

Labeled géorisques, the potentially destructive natural phenomenon include flooding, forest fires, ground movements, underground cavities and polluted soils.

To find a location, you can use your mouse to click on the interactive map, or fill in your address, your commune, GPS coordinates or cadastre references (available from the Mairie or on planning permission/deeds etc.).

Once you have confirmed your location, you need to click on the pink button “DESCRIPTIF DES RISQUES” to access an up-to-date list for your area.

Scroll down to the tabs underneath the maps and open the section marked “Risques recensés sur la commune” – these are the risks currently identified near you.

The website also contains detailed descriptions of the different climatic events and a wealth of information on preventative strategies and personal safety.

In case of emergency call 18 or 112

What to do in case of damage

Damage caused by a storm or heavy rainfall can fall into various categories of your multi-risk home insurance policy (water damage, climatic events etc.).

The level of compensation will depend on your contract, the level of cover you have chosen and the origin of the damage.

The government’s public interest website, www.service-public.fr, is reminding residents of the steps to take for compensation if your home has suffered damage due to natural disasters.

  1. Contact your insurer without delay by any means (telephone, email, sms, website). They will specify the specific details of how to lodge a claim for damage.
  2. Take the necessary measures to avoid further damage (protection of damaged property, cleaning, etc.)
  3. Collect, as much as is possible/safe, any supporting documents that could be useful: photos of the damage, invoices etc.
It may be a good idea to double check your insurance policy covers natural disasters. It is not a legal requirement and so basic cover usually does not insure you for this kind of event.

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