The National Weather Service has declared March 18 through March 22 as Flood Safety Awareness Week. The
National Weather Service in Jackson will feature a different educational topic each day during the awareness
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 anywhere at anytime
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 National
Weather Service in Jackson 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 knowing the different types of floods, how to prepare for them, and knowing the
actions to take during, and afterward 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 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
are not typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Therefore it is 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 out 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 do not carry it.
Many residents of Mississippi, Northeast Louisiana and Southeast Arkansas live in flood vulnerable areas.
However, many of these areas do not require flood insurance. With new development comes changes to runoff
and drainage patterns, this can cause homes or businesses to flood which have never flooded in the past. Buy
flood insurance if you have any risk of flooding as soon as possible. It takes 30 days after purchase for a flood
policy to take effect, so it is important to buy flood insurance well ahead of flood season and hurricane season.
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.
Important flood websites: