NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sponsoring a campaign to educate consumers about floods and flood insurance. The nationwide FloodSmart consumer campaign seeks to educate homeowners on protecting their homes and property from flooding, and on the need to understand that homeowners insurance will not cover damage from floods.
"With many of Arkansas' residents living or working near one of the state's rivers or lakes, Arkansans face the dangers of flooding," said Rich Griffin, state coordinating officer for the state of Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM). "As we're rebuilding from previous disasters, buying flood insurance is an important way to prepare for future severe weather."
According to Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes, "Too many consumers do not believe they are at risk for flooding until it's too late. But people should know that they need to prepare for floods, and that includes flood insurance."
People can visit the FloodSmart website at www.FloodSmart.gov, or call 1-800-427-2419, to find out how to prepare for a flood; assess your risk; estimate the cost of flood insurance premiums; find local insurance agents, and get links to community-based information.
With facts such as the following, the FloodSmart campaign focuses on educating consumers about why flood insurance is so important:
Flood insurance is the only way to cover losses from America's #1 natural disaster.
- Homeowners insurance does not cover floods. Only flood insurance protects you against flood damage.
- Floods and flash floods happen in both low and high-risk flood zones. One in four flood loss claims is filed in low-risk areas.
- The time to act is now. It normally takes 30 days after purchase for a flood insurance policy to take effect, so don't wait for a storm to consider buying insurance.
- Flood insurance is sold and serviced through private insurance companies and agents, and is backed by the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Flood insurance protects your financial security.
- Flood insurance compensates you for all covered losses; there is no payback requirement. In comparison, the most typical form of federal disaster assistance is a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration that must be repaid with interest.
- Flood insurance is available for single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, and nonresidential buildings, including commercial structures and personal contents.
- Homes and businesses in low- and moderate-risk flood areas are eligible for lower-cost "Preferred Risk" flood insurance policies.
- The Arkansas "Preferred Risk" policies are available for as little as $112 a year and increase to $348 depending on variables.
- Flood insurance is easy to get. You can buy National Flood Insurance from about 100 private insurance companies, and 20,000 independent insurance agents. Call your agent today, or call 1-800-427-2419 to locate an agent near you.
ADEM's mission is to ensure that Arkansas is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them and mitigate their impact. Visit www.adem.arkansas.gov for the latest information on the relief efforts.