There’s a higher likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This means there’s an equally increased risk of flooding in hurricane-prone areas.
Because of this, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering up some advice for Americans who may be in the path of a hurricane or severe storm this year.
The agency has a three-step plan:
Step 1: Know Your Risk — Everyone Lives in a Flood Zone
In the past five years, every state in the United States has experienced a flood — regardless of their flood zone. More than 20 percent of National Flood Insurance Program flood claims are from outside of high-risk flood areas.
Step 2: Be FloodSmart — Have a Plan
Safeguard residents’ homes and possessions by developing a family emergency plan, including any pets, and make sure that property owners understand their insurance policy. Visit KnowYourStuff.org and use the I.I.I.’s free home inventory app to make it easier to file a claim.
Step 3: Protect What Matters — Purchase Flood Insurance
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods, and there typically is a 30-day waiting period before a policy becomes effective. Contact your insurance agent or find a local insurance agent at FloodSmart.gov for more information about purchasing a flood insurance policy.
That last step is really going to resonate this year, in the wake of the recent Louisiana floods. It turned out that many of the residents impacted by those floods had no flood insurance. They weren’t living in a flood-prone area, flood insurance wasn’t required for their mortgage, so they didn’t have it.
By all means check your policy as soon as possible to ensure that you’re property covered. With all the strange weather events we’re having these days, you may be living in a “flood-prone area” without even realizing it. Better safe than sorry.