WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If you've got water damage from the recent storms, your first step is to determine if you have a water damage claim or a flood claim.

The main difference between a flood claim and water damage claim is where the water came from.

Water rising into your home or business is considered flood damage.

Water coming down from the sky and into your home from a damaged roof for example is considered water damage.

The difference between a water damage claim and a flood claim is determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) flood definition.

You can learn about purchasing insurance and filing flood claims at FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood damage can only be caused by the following water sources:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water because of erosion caused by waves or currents

Check you with your insurance policy to discuss specific concerns.

Source: FEMA and Ameriprise Home Insurance