Flood Safety Awareness Week

Today's Topic: Flood Risk and Flood Insurance

It floods somewhere in the United States or its territories nearly every day of the year. Flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other weather related event, with an average of eight billion dollars a year and an average of ninety five fatalities per year in the past thirty years. Flooding can occur in any of the fifty states or U.S. territories at any time of the year, sometimes very quickly. Being prepared in advance and knowing a few flood safety tips will help you and your family survive a flood if it happens in your area.

On Monday, we talked about flood safety and risk. Knowing your risk in advance is the best way to prepare for flooding of any type in your location. Many of our partners provide information to help you determine if you live in a flood prone area. Also knowing if there is a dam or levee system in your area is important. Contact your local NWS office. It is a great resource to find out about dams and levees in your area and the risk associated with them. If a dam or levee fails, flash flooding can happen very quickly and you need to know what to do before it happens.

On Tuesday, we talked about how knowing the different types of floods, how to prepare for them and knowing the actions to take during and afterwards can save you time, money and even your life. Today, we cover why you need to know about the National Flood Insurance Program.

In 1968, congress created the National Flood Insurance Program,  or NFIP, in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. Flood losses aren’t typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. So it’s a smart idea to make sure you are covered. Our partners at FEMA have online maps that show if you are in a flood risk area.

Once you know your risk, you can purchase National Flood Insurance from private insurance companies and agents. Currently, there are over one hundred insurance companies that sell National Flood Insurance coverage, in addition to some sixty thousand independent insurance agents.

Anyone in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program can purchase building and or contents coverage, with a few exceptions. Knowing your location and risk will help determine your eligibility. Check FEMA’ s online map service center to determine your risk and then talk with your insurance carrier to see if they can provide flood insurance or point you in the right direction if they don’t carry it.

Knowing your flood risk and ensuring you have the right insurance coverage and protection can save you a lot of time and money in the event of a flood. Prepare now and be a force of nature!

Join us tomorrow for information on the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service and partner services.

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