October 6, 2016 2:30 am
Hurricane season this year has developed more than expected, so much so that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently revised its projections, forecasting the potential for more storms. This higher risk for hurricanes affects those in and out of areas typically impacted by them, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Whether residents live on the coast or hundreds of miles inland, hurricanes and tropical storms pose significant risk,” says David Maurstad, assistant administrator for Federal Insurance at FEMA. “Recent flooding in Louisiana proves that it doesn’t take a hurricane to cause catastrophic damage. All it takes is heavy rain.”
FEMA, along with the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), remind residents in all areas of three steps:
1. Know Your Risk
Everyone—everyone—lives in a flood zone. Over 20 percent of flood insurance claims are from residents outside of high-risk zones, and, in just the last five years, every state in the U.S. has experienced flooding.
2. Have a Plan
Establish an emergency plan, including for pets, that ensures the safety of everyone in the household.
3. Get Insured
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods, so obtaining separate flood insurance is essential. Bear in mind there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy becomes effective.
“Residents should protect what matters by contacting their insurance agent to make sure they have the right amount and type of insurance, including flood insurance,” says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the I.I.I.
Salvatore recommends residents visit KnowYourStuff.org, or download the I.I.I.’s free app, to compile a home inventory—this will make the claims process much smoother. More information on flood insurance can be found at FloodSmart.gov.
Sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)
Published with permission from RISMedia.