DENVER - With considerable snow pack on the ground and more moisture predicted for Spring, the threat of flooding once again looms over North Dakota.
There’s nothing unusual about that. The state has been hit with a nationally declared flood disaster almost every year since 1989 – nine of them in the past 11 years. And, during the great flood of 1997, more than 60,000 people had to leave their homes for safety.
So what can individuals and families do to prepare? They can buy flood insurance.
And since there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy can take effect, it’s important to get flood insurance right away. When the snow melts and the rains come, it may be too late to file a purchase a policy.
The average cost of flood insurance in North Dakota is only about $460 a year – less than $2 a day for financial protection from what could be devastating effects of a flood in a home or business.
“After previous disasters, North Dakota has made great strides in making communities much less vulnerable to floods,” said FEMA Region VIII Mitigation Division Director Jeanine Peterson. “However, the flood threat always exists, including in areas that have not experienced previous flooding or haven’t been flooded in many years.”
Flood insurance benefits can far exceed what is available through federal disaster assistance. The most prevalent form of assistance comes in the form of a low-interest loan and is only made available within a federally declared disaster area. In addition, a disaster assistance payment averages $4,000 - often well short of the actual damage.
Many people believe that a property must be in a Special Flood Hazard Area or a “floodplain” to be eligible for coverage, however flood insurance is available to anyone in a participating jurisdiction. In fact, 20 to 25 percent of all claims come from floods that happened in low or moderate flood-risk areas. Flood insurance can be purchased for both the property and contents – an agent can help ensure that your needs are met.
Find out more about your risk and flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov. To purchase flood insurance or find an agent, call 1-800-427-2419.