Posted by: Edward Connor, Acting Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration
As we’ve seen from the damage caused by the recent tornadoes and severe storms that hit the Southeast, as well as flooding all across the country, natural disasters can be devastating. They can happen anytime, anywhere, and often without much warning.
While we can’t prevent natural disasters, there are steps we can take to get ready for them, and as we head into the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season next month (June 1st), now is the time to get ready. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days before they take effect, so now is the time to invest in preparing your homes and businesses for the heightened flood risks associated with hurricane season. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Past hurricane seasons have illustrated how seasonal flooding can be devastating and costly. In fact, flooding is both the most common and the most expensive type of natural disaster in the U.S., but many people still lack adequate insurance protection, and homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover flood damage.
You may not realize that flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms can extend beyond the Gulf and Southeastern coasts as well. The largest amounts of rainfall from hurricanes are often produced by slow moving storms that stall out miles from a shoreline. As these storms move inland, high winds and torrential rains increase the likelihood of flooding. The bottom line is, floodwaters don’t stop at coastlines or floodplain boundaries; everyone is at risk. It’s important to insure your property no matter where you live. Check out this blog post from earlier this year if you have questions about flood insurance.
Flood insurance is available through more than 85 insurance companies in nearly 21,000 participating communities nationwide. Most everyone can purchase flood insurance – including renters, business owners, and homeowners. Flood insurance is also affordable. The average flood insurance policy is around $600 a year. And in moderate- to low- risk areas, homeowners can protect their properties with low-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) that start at just $129 a year. Individuals can learn more about their flood risk by visiting FloodSmart.gov or calling 1-800-427-2419.