Jackson, MS -- Federal and state disaster officials caution that the only way to full recovery following a disaster is by having flood insurance. Disaster aid will not cover all losses.
Flood insurance is available in any community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as do most Mississippi 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.
Gracia Szczech, the federal coordinating officer in charge of disaster recovery, said, "Many people erroneously believe that they will receive enough money from disaster programs to restore their home to its pre-disaster condition. Disaster-aid programs provide only enough to help victims begin their recovery, not pay for them to completely rebuild."
Flood insurance, however, pays off for the smallest flood event, even for a single flooded room. Many floods do not reach the catastrophic proportions required for a presidential disaster declaration.
Leon Shaifer, the state official in charge of disaster recovery, added, "Generally, for the price of one month's mortgage payment, a person can have the peace of mind of flood insurance for a full year that will take the pain out of recovery. Flood insurance allows homeowners to recover losses from flooding not otherwise covered by regular homeowner's insurance."
The NFIP is sold through private insurance companies and is backed by the federal government.