Noah was prepared for a Flood. Are You?

According to weather.com, “May 2015 was the wettest May and the wettest month on record for the Lower 48 states dating to 1895, according to the State of the Climate report released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”

Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina 2005

Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina 2005

The report went on to say that Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado all recorded their wettest month on record this past May, while it was the second wettest May ever recorded for Kansas, Louisiana and Utah. For Arizona, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming it was one of their top 10 wettest Mays.

Texas and Oklahoma both experienced flooding, but it was so severe in Texas that the governor declared 37 counties disaster areas, and the states four-year drought was ended. In one night 10 inches of rain fell in Houston. Because so much of Texas is flat, it is especially susceptible to flooding, including in big cities such as Houston.

After the Texas floods, it was likely that many people affected either did not have flood insurance or may did not have enough coverage to fully replace their losses.

In the U.S., many residents—especially those not living in flood-prone areas—may not realize that most residential flood insurance is not provided by private insurers. Flood insurance is provided through the U.S. government managed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP was created in 1968 due to a general belief that flood hazard was uninsurable through private insurance companies because of its size and destructiveness.

The NFIP is based within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and makes flood insurance available to voluntarily participating communities. When communities join the program they agree to adopt baseline floodplain management regulations, and with those regulations in place then the community residents become eligible to purchase a government flood insurance policy.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has good background information on flood insurance here and here. According the I.I.I., Federal flood insurance policies can be purchased from an insurance agent or an insurance company representative, and—as mentioned above—are available to communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. To find an insurance agent or company servicing your area, visit FloodSmart.gov or call (888) 379-9531.

Do you know whether your area is liable for flooding? Are you covered by insurance if it is?

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