Tropical Storm Alex Serves as Reminder of Need for Flood Protection
Washington (July 2010) /PRNewswire/ — As Tropical Storm Alex raises concerns about weather-related risks to life and property, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging U.S. residents nationwide to protect themselves and their properties by preparing an emergency readiness kit and purchasing flood insurance.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an active Hurricane Season for 2010. In addition to their other efforts to prepare their families or businesses, consumers should obtain flood insurance, since most policies take 30 days to go into effect.
FEMA has numerous interactive tools and resources at www.fema.gov and www.floodsmart.gov that media outlets can use to help educate consumers about flooding. These assets can be easily shared through media websites, social media pages and feature stories and include:
- Tools to help homeowners assess their risk
- Video and audio showcasing what citizens and officials are doing to prepare and respond
- Interactive widgets on flood, hurricane and disaster preparedness
- Best practices to minimize damage and loss from natural hazards
Past hurricane seasons have proven that flood damage from seasonal storms can be devastating - and you don't have to live right on the coast to face significant damage. The largest amounts of rainfall from hurricanes are often produced by slow moving storms that stall out miles from shore - as far north as New York in the case of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and through much of the Midwest as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Obtaining flood insurance is important for several reasons. Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover flooding, and without flood insurance policies many will have to pay out-of-pocket for most of the damage to their property and possessions. The damages can be costly: the average paid claim per homeowner for flood damage in 2009 was nearly $27,000. Equally important, for homeowners in the highest flood risk areas, flood insurance is required as a condition of most mortgages. Why? Because in these areas, a home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by a flood than by a fire.
As demonstrated by the recent flooding in the Nashville area, homes in areas where flooding has not been frequent in recent years are still at risk. Nearly 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas.
Flood insurance is available through approximately 90 insurance companies in more than 20,800 participating communities nationwide. Flood insurance can be purchased by almost everyone - including renters, business owners and homeowners - with policies starting as low as $119 per year. Individuals can learn more about their flood risk and flood insurance options by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov or calling 1-800-427-2419.
To learn about other ways to prepare for hurricane season, visit www.Ready.gov.