ALEXANDRIA, La. -- “Be Prepared, Be Flood Aware” is the slogan for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mitigation Division campaign that will take information about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to Louisiana residents beginning with an outreach event on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Alexandria Mall.
“We are partners on the road to recovery,” said Lee Champagne, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer. FEMA is working with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to inform citizens about the value of purchasing flood insurance.
In the last quarter-century, more than 371,026 Louisiana citizens with flood insurance have received more than $15 billion in loss payments. In the last fiscal year alone, NFIP, funded by the government, compensated 188,378 state homeowners and renters at a cost of more than $13 billion.
And now, water-logged state residents with and without flood insurance are faced with an enormous new set of rebuilding and repairing costs after the severe storms that began Oct. 16.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Col. Thomas Kirkpatrick, state coordinating officer helping oversee disaster recovery efforts. “But the most convincing case anyone can make for purchasing NFIP insurance is the increased peace of mind of knowing that you’ve protected your most valuable asset or personal property.”
During the next five weeks outreach events will be held in various disaster designated parishes.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.