FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The severe May storms that led to a presidential disaster declaration for Individual Assistance in five Kentucky counties are but the latest incidents of flooding that have affected the commonwealth in recent years. Yet many Kentucky homeowners, renters and businesses still lack flood insurance protection.
In the past 52 years, Kentucky has seen 37 federal disaster declarations for flooding -14 of them (38 percent) in the last decade. With 1.9 million housing units in Kentucky, only 22,275 flood insurance polices are in effect.
"Both the history of flooding in the commonwealth and the many floods we are seeing this year are reminders that flooding is a serious risk to Kentucky residents," said Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director Brig. Gen. John W. Heltzel.
Before flooding touches them, many people are unaware that their homeowner's insurance policy does not cover flood damage or loss. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters and businesses in every community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices to reduce future flood damage. Home and business owners can buy coverage for their buildings and contents, and renters can purchase insurance to cover personal property.
"The NFIP is intended to make flood insurance available on a nationwide basis," said Kim Kadesch, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. "Maintaining a flood insurance policy is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect against the financial burden and heartache caused by flood damage."
Considering that in a high risk area, your home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 4 percent chance of fire, many more people could benefit from taking the precautionary measure of purchasing flood insurance.
To find out if your community participates in the NFIP and what flood zone type you are in, and to find a list of agents who sell flood insurance in your area, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 or go online to www.floodsmart.gov/.
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.