ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. No one knows this better than eastern North Carolinians, who are now recovering from flooding caused by Tropical Storm Nicole.
"Anywhere it rains, it can flood. You don't have to live near water to be at risk of flooding," says Ron Haltermon, FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) group supervisor for this disaster.
"All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents," Haltermon says. "Buying flood insurance can provide protection and peace of mind. However, only about 3 percent of North Carolina residents have flood insurance."
Here are some key facts about flood insurance:
- Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. You need a separate flood insurance policy. Federal flood insurance, purchased through your insurance agent or company, is the only guaranteed flood insurance available.
- Renters can purchase policies to cover personal property. Business owners can get coverage for buildings and their contents, including equipment.
- The time to buy flood insurance is now. There is a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect.
- It doesn't matter if your home has been flooded before. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can buy federally funded flood insurance.
- Flood insurance covers damages and losses, even if there is no disaster declaration.
If you need to find an agent or want general information about flood insurance call the NFIP 24-hour toll-free hotline at 888-379-9531.
You may qualify for a lower rate if your home is in a low-to-moderate risk area. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate risk areas.
Another helpful web site is the North Carolina Department of Insurance www.ncdoi.com/Consumer/consumer_disaster.asp. Information concerning flood insurance as well as information on local insurance agents who offer flood insurance is posted on this site.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.