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Graham County Makes Flood Insurance Available

By on Mar 26, 2013 in Uncategorized |

March 26, 2013 ATLANTA – Graham County, N.C. is now a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means property owners in unincorporated areas of Graham County can purchase federally-underwritten flood insurance. On March 21, 2013, Graham County was re-instated into the NFIP and is now among nearly 22,000 communities participating in the program nationwide.  The NFIP does more than make flood insurance available; it also supports local communities in their efforts to reduce the risk and consequences of serious flooding. In order to participate in the program, a community must agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management regulations and ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange for these practices, flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners and renters in participating communities. Standard homeowner’s, business owner’s, and renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, so a separate flood insurance policy can provide property owners with financial protection against the devastating effects of flooding. Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., so flood insurance is an important consideration for everyone. Even if you don’t live in an area at high-risk of flooding, you should still consider flood insurance because anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, about 25 percent of flood insurance claims occur in lower risk flood zones. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency which works with nearly 90 private insurance companies to provide flood insurance to property owners and renters in NFIP-participating communities.  Flood insurance policies may be written by state-licensed property and casualty insurance...

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Purchasing – and Maintaining – Flood Insurance is a Great Investment at any Time

By on Mar 21, 2013 in Uncategorized |

March 21, 2013 Flooding strikes countless unprepared Americans each year.  Unlike fire, wind, hail, or most other perils, flood damage is not covered by a homeowner’s policy.  An uninsured flood loss can undo a lifetime’s worth of work and create a mountain of bills.  Fortunately, a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy provides defense against such losses and can ensure that a flood doesn’t bring financial ruin. Flooding can happen at any time and in nearly any location.  While some areas may be more likely to flood – especially coastal or riverine areas – history shows that almost no place is safe from flooding.  Flooding can have many causes: a quick heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt can cause flash flooding, a blocked culvert or storm sewer drain can create flooding in a city neighborhood, or prolonged wet weather can swell streams and rivers.  Even dry conditions can pose a threat, because little rainfall in wildfire burn areas or drought stricken regions can create flash flooding when soils can’t absorb even a little water. “Flooding can, and does happen in any area, that’s why I encourage everyone to consider getting flood insurance” said FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney.  “Almost 20% of NFIP claims happen outside of the high-risk areas, so make sure flooding doesn’t wipe you out and insure yourself.” Flood insurance is easy to get, you just have to live in a participating community (which might be a county or other jurisdiction for those living in unincorporated areas).  That’s right; you don’t need to live in a floodplain to purchase a policy.  In fact, if you live outside a floodplain you may be eligible for a preferred risk policy that has a much lower premium than for a policy in a higher flood risk area.  In most cases you can purchase an NFIP policy with the insurance agent you already deal with for other insurance needs.  When that isn’t possible, the NFIP can put you in touch with another agent that can get you a flood insurance policy.  You can find out if your community participates in the NFIP by reviewing the Community Status Book, available at fema.gov/cis/nation. One key difference of an NFIP policy from another insurance...

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There’s More to the NFIP than Just the Policy

By on Mar 19, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Release date: March 19, 2013 Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States.  Recently there have been more frequent severe weather events, like Hurricane Sandy that ravaged the East Coast.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which provides flood insurance policies that give millions of Americans a defense against flooding.  But flood insurance policies are only one component of the program and just part of the protection that the NFIP provides to individuals and the American public. Anyone living in an NFIP participating community can purchase an NFIP flood insurance policy.  It is up to the community to decide to enter the NFIP program for the benefit of its citizens.  When joining the program, the community agrees to assess flood risks and to establish floodplain management ordinances.  As a result, residents can buy federally-backed flood insurance policies.  You can find out if your community participates in the NFIP by reviewing the Community Status Book, available at fema.gov/cis/nation. “By participating in the NFIP, communities take great strides to make everyone in the community more resilient to flooding” said FEMA Region III Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Not only does it make the community stronger, but it opens up a lot of resources to everyone in the community; it’s a huge step to preparing for flooding.” One of the cornerstones of the NFIP is the flood mapping program.  FEMA works with states and local communities to conduct studies on flood risks and develop maps that show the level of risk for that area, called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).  These FIRMs have useful information that can help communities plan development.  The area that has the highest risk of flooding is the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), commonly called the floodplain.  The SFHA has a one percent chance of being flooded in any given year.  Because of the greater risk, premiums for flood insurance policies for properties in the SFHA are greater than for those for properties outside of it. Equally important to knowing the risks of flooding is having a plan to address those risks.  This is the role of floodplain management.  Local communities must comply with minimum national standards established by FEMA,...

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March 18-22 is Flood Safety Awareness Week. Do You Know Your Flood Hazards?

By on Mar 15, 2013 in Uncategorized |

March 15, 2013 The week-long campaign provides an opportunity for emergency management experts to work together in sharing information about the dangers related to flooding, how to prepare for flood events and ways to prevent future damage from floods. “Flooding is the nation’s number one natural disaster and it can happen in any of our regional states,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson.  “We encourage homeowners, renters and business owners to find out if their home or business is at risk for flood and then take steps to address that risk.” Before a Flood Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home. Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding. Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. During a Flood Listen to local officials and monitor your local radio or television for information. Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If it does, move immediately to higher ground. Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Do not drive into flooded areas. Turn Around; Don’t Drown. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. After a Flood Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines. Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened. Return home only when authorities indicate it is...

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33,000 more homes in N.J. added to FEMA flood map

By on Mar 14, 2013 in Uncategorized |

An additional 33,000-plus residential buildings in New Jersey are now considered to be in a flood zone under federal maps adopted by the state. The homes were not considered to be in a flood zone under outdated Federal Emergency Management Agency maps, according to the state Department of Community Affairs’ superstorm Sandy disaster recovery plan, released this week. The state has adopted FEMA’s Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps, which some officials and homeowners contend are inaccurate and would require many homes to be elevated. Read...

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