Tropical Storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy, and severe snow and rain storms in New England illustrate our region’s vulnerability to damage at the hands of nature. While New England’s states, cities and towns work to rebuild and clean up after these events, we urge you to prepare your home and family for future storms, and to practice smart risk management. Anticipating disasters while putting plans and insurance in place can help you protect homes, businesses, and finances, and recover more quickly.
Sandy survivors know all too well that one damaging storm can wipe out a home’s history of durability, and cause flooding in areas that seemed safe from harm. Flooding is a major risk for both coastal and inland communities in New England, and many residents need to have flood insurance – an important piece of risk management and preparedness.
Last year Congress passed the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 with the goals of making the National Flood Insurance Program more financially stable, and more accurately identifying flood risks. This reform means rate increases for many policyholders living both inland and on the coast. Now is the time to find out how this law impacts you:
- You may be required to purchase flood insurance, even if you weren’t required to in the past. Floodplain maps which are used to determine flood risks are being revised with the use of better science and technology, and structures which were not formerly in the high hazard flood areas might now be in harm’s way based on the new mapping data.
- Flood insurance rates are increasing annually for older buildings in the high hazard floodplain zones. Find out if this will affect you and your property.
To find out how these changes will affect you, start by taking these steps:
- Contact your local town government to determine if you’re in the floodplain:
- Find out if you or your community are eligible for federal grants to help pay for elevating or modifying your home
- Contact your insurance agent to learn about options for protecting your home and family:
- Ask about premium quotes and Elevation Certificates, and consider the annual premium savings that elevating or modifying your home may provide.
- Find out how your community can save you some of the cost of flood insurance – learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System here.
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