JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Flooding can occur almost anywhere if enough rain falls in a short period of time. Residents of Missouri know only too well the devastating effects that flood can have on lives and property. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) urge residents to buy flood insurance protection.
Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States in terms of lives lost and damage to property. Of the nearly 550 major disaster declarations in the United States over the past 10 years, more than 310 of the declarations involved flooding.
"Every year thousands of Americans suffer flood damage, yet have no flood insurance because they thought it could never happen to them," said Tom Hall, Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA disaster operations in Missouri. "People need to remember that their homeowners insurance will not cover flood damage. You must have flood insurance if you want protection."
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. Policies offer up to $250,000 coverage for homeowners, up to $100,000 for personal property and up to $500,000 each for business contents and buildings.
Purchasing flood insurance isn't restricted to those living in Special Flood Hazard Areas. The only requirement is that residents and businesses are located in a community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Currently, Missouri has more than 600 participating communities. To find out if your community participates in the NFIP go to www.sema.dps.mo.gov or www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.
For more information or to find an insurance agent near you who sells flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov, or call the NFIP's toll-free number 1-888-FLOOD29. The hearing- or speech-impaired should call TTY 1-800-427-5593.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.