RALEIGH, N.C. -- As floodwaters from Hurricane Floyd receded, victims without flood insurance were left with the cost of replacing their losses. Had their communities been in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), they could have been covered by low-cost insurance.
Almost 70 percent of North Carolina's communities participate in NFIP. State and federal officials appeal to all communities to join. "Highly encourage your local government to join the program and set up flood insurance as your first line of defense," said Glenn C. Woodard, FEMA's federal coordinating officer.
Flood insurance in communities located in a high risk or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) has an economic and home ownership impact. Federally backed mortgages from such agencies as the Veterans Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and the Small Business Administration require flood insurance.
Woodard added that those areas outside of the SFHA also qualify for coverage if their communities participate in NFIP. Coverage is available to all owners of insurable property and its contents. This also includes renters who may insure their contents.
As Hurricane Floyd flood victims can attest, flood insurance lifts a heavy financial burden during their recovery. Flooding is the major cause of property loss from natural disasters. The odds are about one in four that if you live in an SFHA you will be a flood victim during the course of a 30-year mortgage, according to NFIP statistics.
Joining the NFIP is Simple
Safeguarding a community is a simple process. Eric Tolbert, director of the North Carolina Emergency Management Division, outlined the steps and emphasized there are no state or federal fees.
Community officials file an NFIP application pass a resolution of intent to enforce NFIP regulations commit to working with state and federal agencies; and adopt a minimum standard flood damage ordinance. Then a state or FEMA team inspects the floodplain area to identify structures erected since the federal government mapped the area. The inspection report and the documentation are forwarded to FEMA headquarters in Washington.
Approval can take as little as a week in the case of a declared disaster, or more commonly, about two months.
No tax monies finance this program. The nearly $300 million paid out to policyholders since the program began came from insurance premiums.
County By County Disaster Assistance Figures
Nov. 5, 1999
|Declared County||Total Applicants||Families Assisted||Disaster Housing Amount||IFG Appvd||Individual & Family Grants Approved||Total Disaster Housing and IFG||SBA Total Appv'd||Small Business Administration Loans||TOTAL Assistance in County|