PHILADELPHIA – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III, in partnership with the State of Maryland, hosted the Maryland Flood Insurance Partners Roundtable. FEMA, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) planned and coordinated the roundtable to bring together key stakeholders to discuss flood insurance and risk. The meeting included local, state, federal, and private sector partners, including Maryland state agency partners, floodplain managers, emergency managers, realtors, lenders, and insurance agents from across the State to engage in a critical discussion on increasing flood insurance coverage in Maryland and reducing flood risk.
“As we have seen in recent flood events, and in hurricanes around the country, the risk and damage caused by flooding is very real,” stated Russ Strickland, Executive Director for MEMA. “Working with our partners to understand flood risk in the State of Maryland, and taking steps to reduce that risk, is critical to our success in the future and to the fulfillment of our vision to shape a resilient Maryland where communities thrive." The Maryland Roundtable event brings together multiple stakeholders from across the public and private industries to discuss flooding. The event began with presentations from MEMA, MDE, MIA, and FEMA on programs at the state and federal level.
“Insurance provides the single best protection against risk, especially flooding,” stated Al Redmer, Jr., Maryland Insurance Commissioner. “We continue to share insurance information every day with the people of Maryland to help them understand their risk and to protect themselves and their property.” Following the presentations, a panel made up of public and private sector experts will discuss flooding and the challenges that come with communicating and reducing risk in Maryland. This panel will address growing partnerships between the federal, state, local and private sectors, local floodplain management, insurance affordability, perception and communication of flood risks, and the value of flood insurance in helping communities recover from disasters.
One of the goals of the roundtable was to dispel myths surrounding flood insurance. For example, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damages. “Flood insurance provides the best protection against financial ruin after a flood. Getting just one inch of water in your home could cost more than $25,000. This roundtable highlights the need for insurance and the value of working with our state, local, federal, and private sector partners on reducing flood risk,” stated FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Flooding can happen at any time, and insurance can help property owners to rebuild and recover faster and stronger.”
With the partners attending the roundtable, FEMA, MEMA, MDE, and MIA hope to broaden the conversation on reducing the risk of future flooding, increasing the number of residents covered by flood insurance, and to establish productive partnerships with insurance stakeholders in Maryland.
The roundtable event concludes with small breakout sessions based on topics, such as insurance or realty, as well as briefings on each session and an open house. “Maryland is focused on a culture of preparedness and resiliency as flooding and other climate impacts threaten our region. Flood insurance is one smart way to help protect property, communities and ecosystems,” said Ben Grumbles, Maryland’s Secretary of the Department of the Environment, which coordinates the National Flood Insurance Program for the State.
The NFIP aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. The 2019 Flood Insurance Roundtable events represent FEMA Region III’s close partnerships with all of our states to reduce flood risk and ensure property owners and communities are more resilient to future flooding.
To learn more about MDE, please visit www.MDE.Maryland.gov.
To learn more about the Maryland Insurance Administration, please visit www.Insurance.Maryland.gov.
To learn more about the NFIP and how to purchase flood insurance, please visit www.FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program and www.Floodsmart.gov. To learn more about FEMA Region III, please visit www.FEMA.gov and www.FEMA.gov/region-iii.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.