Houston, TX -- In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison, flood awareness of property owners and renters in Southeast Texas has increased dramatically, as can be evidenced by the number of flood insurance policies obtained in the affected counties following the disaster.
Back in May, before Tropical Storm Allison struck Southeast Texas, the 31 affected counties had 234,708 flood insurance policies in effect. The September figures indicate that the same counties had 299,856 flood policies. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reported that the 65,148 new policies represent an overall increase of 28%.
For a rundown on flood insurance activity in Texas, please refer to the Texas Flood Insurance Policy Statistics Table
"If anything," says Scott Wells, federal coordinating officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), "Tropical Storm Allison has emphasized the importance of having flood insurance, in order to lessen the financial impact of a flooding disaster. The dramatic increase even in moderately affected counties points to a general awareness of the benefits of prevention and preparation. This," said Wells, "is a responsible and positive step against future flood damages."
As Butch Smith, state coordinating officer, Division of Emergency Management (DEM), Texas Department of Public Safety, indicated, "Tropical Storm Allison is a prime example of the importance of flood insurance coverage, regardless of the flood zone or the proximity to the flood plain, as an indispensable and affordable first line of defense and as a supplement to any assistance that may be available. Furthermore," said Smith, "flood insurance claims are payable even when the flooding is local and there has not been a federal disaster declaration."
To obtain flood insurance coverage, contact your insurance agent or call the National Flood Insurance Program, at 1-800-427-4661. Additional information is also available on the NFIP website, at www.fema.gov/nfip.