Flood Safety Awareness for the RGV
Everyone lives in a flood zone, whether the risk is low, moderate, or high. Over a typical 30 year home mortgage, floods are nearly three times more likely to occur than a fire. Put another way, your home has the same chance of being flooded as your vehicle being stolen, yet few people have flood insurance! Even low hazard flood areas are at risk. About one in three flood insurance claims each year are paid to homeowners living outside of high risk areas. In these lower risk areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that nearly 90 percent of the structures are uninsured.
Did You Know? The term "100 year flood" is a misnomer? In reality, the term means residents living in a 100 year flood zone have a 1 percent chance of experiencing damaging flooding in any given year. Over the life of a 30 year mortgage, that chance rises to 1 on 4 – 26 percent! The chance also rises similarly outside of the "100 year" flood zone, such that those living near, but just beyond, the zone could be expected to see chances on the order of 1 in 5, or 20 percent!
Hurricane Dolly in July 2008, as well as the Starr County Floods between August 18th and 25th of 2008, each produced flooding in areas that were outside of the pre determined high risk areas. For Dolly, some areas received more than 18 inches of rain in less than 12 hours. Ask yourself: Can my neighborhood deal with up to 20 inches of rain in 6 to 8 hours or less? If the answer is no, or your unsure and live beyond the "100 year" flood zone, consider purchasing flood insurance. Costs can be less than a dollar a day to cover more than $250 thousand in structure, and more than $250 thousand in contents. The peace of mind you get in return for having your home and family treasure covered is worth much more.
Many think homeowner’s insurance covers floods. In reality, most homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, and just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Homeowners, renters, and business owners are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. FEMA offers maps of most flood prone areas in the Rio Grande Valley. Click here for details and instructions.
NFIP is a federal program enabling property owners to purchase flood insurance at reasonable rates. It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it is important you buy insurance well before floods threaten. Now is a great time to purchase flood insurance, ahead of the summer rainstorm and hurricane seasons. For more information, surf to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’ NFIP web site:
To buy flood insurance, contact an insurance agent in your area.
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