DENVER, Colo.-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-sponsored 2011 National Flood Safety Awareness Week, observed March 14-18 (http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/). Flooding is a threat in FEMA Region VII, which is comprised of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
The National Flood Safety Awareness Week is intended to highlight hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property. It asks all citizens to develop a plan for you and your family, and emphasizes that the time to plan is now, not when it's too late.
Property owners and renters need to know that they can take steps to protect their property and financial security before disaster strikes. Residents can begin to take steps now to protect their home and assets from rising floodwaters at any time by adhering to the following:
- Learn your flood risk. Properties that are not located within high-risk areas also can flood. Find out your flood risk right now by entering your address at FloodSmart.gov “Assess Your Risk.” Insurance agents also can help check your risk.
- Purchase a flood insurance policy. If you already have a flood policy, remember: your policy needs to be renewed each year. You don’t need to live in a mapped floodplain to need flood insurance and, statistically, more than twenty percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low-to-moderate flood-risk areas—where flood insurance premiums can be a real bargain.
- Know that most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so be sure to consider flood insurance for both your structure and its contents. There is typically a 30-day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect. Learn more by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov and www.fema.gov.
- Make sure you have the right insurance: Review your insurance policies and find out what they do and do not cover. Learn the difference between replacement cost coverage versus standard coverage, which only pays the actual cash value of insured property. Be sure that you have enough insurance to cover recent home renovations or improvements.
- Plan and practice a flood evacuation route, ask someone out of state to be your "family contact" in an emergency, and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
- Build an emergency supply kit: Food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines, and a battery-operated radio should be ready to go when you are. Visit www.ready.gov for a complete disaster supply checklist.
- Inventory your household possessions: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims.
- Store copies of irreplaceable financial and family documents in a safe place, preferably one that is protected from both fire and water and the highest floor of your home or business. Documents include automobile titles, tax records, stock and bond certificates, deeds, wills, trust agreements, birth and marriage certificates, photos, passports and insurance policies. Keep originals in a rented safe deposit box. And don’t forget the household inventory file!
- Anchor or elevate fuel tanks and elevate the main breaker or fuse box and the utility meters above the anticipated flood level in your home or business, so that floodwater won't ...