KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- People who live near water are not the only ones who experience flooding. Floods can happen because of heavy rains, leaking levies, urban runoff, snow melt, sandbags forcing water to other areas, and rivers changing course. Flash floods can begin and end within a few hours, cutting a path of major destruction.
The good news is that individuals have recourse to water-soaked and moldy damages left in the muddy wake of a flood: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP was created in 1968 to provide flood insurance at a reasonable cost and is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Buying flood insurance puts you back in control," said Lee Rosenberg, federal coordinating officer for the recent presidential declared disaster. "By having flood insurance coverage, you don't have to take out a loan for your flood-related losses. It's a smart thing to have."
Homeowner, renter and business insurance policies generally do not cover flood damage. However, residents who live in a community that chooses to participate in the NFIP have access to flood insurance.
"Purchasing both structure and content flood insurance is the first and most important way to protect your home and personal property during flooding," said Ronald M. Reynolds, state coordinating officer for the current disaster. "There is a 30-day waiting period before a new flood insurance policy becomes effective so don't delay."
For more information on floodplain management or to find your property's flood risk, log onto www.floodsmart.gov. Now is the time to take action to reduce the cost of future flood losses.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.