Wherever it rains, there is a risk of flooding. This can be a sobering fact for many home/property owners, but don't worry, in this blog post, we'll unpack some useful information to help cover all of your bases.
Flood Zones: are areas identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as being at risk for flooding.
They are areas that have been classified according to their risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone, but the level of risk can vary depending on where you live.
Information on Flood Insurance:
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to help people protect their property financially from floods. If a community participates in the NFIP, then homeowners, renters, and business owners can get flood insurance.
The risk of flooding can change over time. FEMA has updated flood hazard maps to show different degrees of risk for your community. This will help determine the cost of flood insurance. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium. These maps, also known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs), show the level of risk for a particular property.
The NFIP's official website, FloodSmart.gov, has tools that can help you find out if there have been any recent changes to the flood maps in your area. You can also use this website to review updates that are scheduled to occur and access an interactive tool that shows how much flooding could cost your home.
If new flood maps are released, your risk of flooding may become higher or lower. This could affect how much you pay for flood insurance. However, there is usually a six to twelve-month period between when the new maps are released and when they are put into effect. This gives you enough time to protect your property and save money on flood insurance.
Practical ways to prepare your home before a flood occurs:
Clear your gutters and downspouts to ensure that water can drain properly
Inspect your roof and make sure there are no loose or missing shingles
Elevate any electrical components in your home, such as circuit breakers, outlets, and switches
Install check valves in your sewer line to prevent flood water from backing up into your home
Move any valuables, important documents, and irreplaceable items to a safe location
If you live in an area that is at risk of flooding, it is important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. You should know how to evacuate your family and pets safely, as well as where you would go if you had to leave your home. It is also a good idea to put together a disaster kit that includes food, water, and other essentials like a first-aid kit, flashlights, and batteries.
For more information on practical ways to prepare and handle floods, check out Red Cross' resources.
Flooding is a risk that everyone faces, but there are ways to mitigate that risk. Knowing your flood zone and being aware of recent changes to FEMA's flood maps can help you make the best decisions for protecting your property. Flood insurance is an important way to financially protect your property from flooding, and the NFIP's website, FloodSmart.gov, is a great resource for finding out more about your risk of flooding and how to save money on flood insurance. Be sure to check out Red Cross' resources for more practical flood safety tips.