RALEIGH, N.C. -- "Don't wait for the President to declare your state a disaster," Federal and state disaster officials caution. "Disaster aid will not cover all your flood losses."
Disaster experts say that the only way that total recovery from Floyd's damage can be achieved, without a loan, is by people who had flood insurance -- People who had the foresight either to purchase federally-backed flood insurance or were required to have it for a bank loan.
Flood insurance is available in any community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as do most North Carolina communities and counties. Those communities must agree to enact and enforce floodplain ordinances that restrict new growth in flood-prone areas. The U. S. government then agrees to make flood insurance available in those communities.
Officials say that many people erroneously believe that they will receive enough money from disaster programs to restore their home to its predisaster condition. "Disaster aid programs only provide enough to help victims begin their recovery, not pay for them to completely rebuild," says Glenn Woodard, Federal Coordinating Officer for the North Carolina hurricane recovery. "We go as far as the law will allow in our recovery programs, but unfortunately that is not far enough for most people," he added.
However, flood insurance pays off for the smallest flood event, even for a single flooded room. "Many floods do not reach the catastrophic proportions of the North Carolina flooding and never become a major disaster," said Woodard.
Officials point out that for the price of one month's mortgage payment,($300 for $100,000 coverage) a person can have the peace of mind of flood insurance for a full year that will take the pain out of recovery.
Woodard places the responsibility for recovery squarely on the homeowner, "Flood insurance allows homeowners to control their own destiny and not be vulnerable to the whims of Mother Nature or their government."
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|