WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – As a result of the unanimous vote by the Delaware County Board of Supervisors to apply for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), additional disaster assistance could be available to registered households residing in unincorporated Delaware County.
If a community is designated as flood-prone, and the decision is made not to participate in the NFIP, individuals, businesses and local governmental organizations in high-flood risk designated areas are not eligible for some federal or federally-related financial assistance, in the event of flooding.
As a result of the board of supervisors’ vote to participate in the NFIP, Delaware County survivors of the June 1 to Aug. 31 severe storms, flooding and tornados may be eligible for additional disaster assistance. This includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
The first step in requesting assistance is to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). At the close-of-business on Monday, Sept. 23, more than 300 Delaware County residents had registered for assistance. Registering again is not required and previous registrations will automatically undergo reconsideration.
For those who have not received their nine-digit FEMA registration number, the first step is to register with FEMA. Registration is available online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time, until further notice. The deadline for individuals and business owners to register is Oct. 13, 2010.
Many homeowners, renters, private non-profit organizations and businesses of all sizes will receive an SBA disaster loan package. After registering for disaster assistance with FEMA, returning the SBA loan package is the most important step in disaster assistance. These low-interest loans are the primary source of federal funding for permanent, long-term recovery to individuals and businesses.
SBA offers disaster loans to repair or replace damaged real estate, personal property and business assets not covered by insurance or other aid. For small businesses only, SBA offers disaster loans to cover working capital needs caused by the disaster. Up to $200,000 is available to homeowners to repair or replace primary homes; up to $40,000 is available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace personal property; and, up to $2 million is available to businesses for disaster losses.
Floods are the most common type of natural disasters. According to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data, the average annual U.S. flood losses in the most recent reporting period were more than $2.4 billion. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000.
Flood damage is not generally covered by homeowners insurance. Flood insurance must be bought separately and is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. The NFIP provides the following cost comparison: Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4 percent interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance policy, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
Flood insurance reimburses you for covered losses. Homeowners can buy up to $250,000 of coverage; businesses, up to $500,000. Separate contents coverage is available, so renters may also apply. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what ...