OAKLAND, Ca. -- When it comes to flooding, there are two things that many homeowners should know about their risk. First, the dangers of severe weather and related flooding do not end when cooler weather begins. Floods are a year-round hazard, and they can be especially dangerous in Hawaii during the rainy season, as evidenced by storms that brought significant damage to Oahu, Maui and Kauai in December.
FEMA's FloodSmart Campaign offers interactive tools to help homeowners understand their risk, including:
Second, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, which resulted in an average claim of nearly $27,000 in 2009. In most cases, flood insurance made available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the only protection against the financial costs of flooding.
"Virtually every home and business owner faces some risk of flooding, which can stem from events as commonplace as broken sewer lines, slow moving rainstorms, or even a new real estate development that alters drainage patterns around a property," said Nancy Ward, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Region IX Administrator. "Everyone should have a flood preparedness checklist, and for many people, having flood insurance can be as important as having an emergency supply kit and knowing where to go if they need to evacuate."
Residents in every state and nationwide should know that flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to become effective, so the time to get protected is now.
FEMA offers interactive tools to help homeowners understand their risk. For more information visit www.floodsmart.gov.
Individuals should visit FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, what to do if their area has been flooded, how to purchase a National Flood Insurance policy, and the benefits of protecting their home and property against flooding.
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