PHOENIX , Ariz. -- Despite last summer's severe monsoons and the threat of impending El Niño storms, only 21 percent of the homes and other buildings at high risk for flooding in Arizona are covered by flood insurance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA makes flood insurance available to participating communities through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
FEMA statistics showed that as of Sept. 30, Arizona had 119,010 homes and other structures in the state's floodplains, with fewer than 27,000 of these structures flood-insured.
Statewide, 33,780 policies were in force in Arizona . Of those, 26,378 were for properties in zones with a high flood risk and the remainder in areas with lower flood risks.
"Too often, Arizonans whose homes have flooded discover that homeowner's policies do not cover flood damage," said State Coordinating Officer Lou Trammell of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.
"Buying flood insurance, even for people who haven't had recent flood damage, is a critical first step in protecting yourself against future disasters," said James Calacal, FEMA's federal coordinating officer for the recovery from last summer's monsoon flooding.
Arizonans who experienced flooding found they benefited by carrying flood insurance. During the past fiscal year, NFIP paid losses to 108 Arizona policyholders for the amount of $1,620,000.
Find more information on rates and flood risks for individual properties on www.floodsmart.gov.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003