We recently marked Severe Weather Awareness Week and coupled with the inch-plus of rain that fell last week, I thought it an opportune time to remind everyone of a very valuable resource, www.floodsmart.gov.

It’s a great tool for researching flood insurance coverage for your home. Here are just a couple key highlights from this website:

•Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance covers the cost of rebuilding after a flood.

•Flooding can happen anywhere at any time. Poor drainage systems, summer storms, melting snow, neighborhood construction, and broken water mains can all result in flooding.

•In high-risk areas, there is at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

•Even though flood insurance isn’t required for your property, flooding can happen to anyone. In fact, from 2014 to 2018, policyholders outside of high-risk flood areas filed over 40 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims and required one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding. Property owners in the moderate- to low-risk flood areas are eligible for lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs). The PRP provides the same building and contents coverage at a more affordable price.

•Federal disaster assistance is only made available when there is a Presidential disaster declaration, and most flood events do not result in a declaration. Disaster assistance typically comes in the form of loans that must be repaid with interest. NFIP does not require a disaster declaration.

•If you own a vacation/secondary home, you will want to research that as well.

•If your community participates in the NFIP, you are eligible to purchase coverage.

•Use their Cost of Flooding Calculator to get an idea of what you could be in for https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-cost/calculator.

•There is typically a 30 day waiting period, so call today!

A very simple first step could be to contact your current home owners insurance agent and discuss what is or isn’t covered for flood events.

Having seen 300-plus homes here in Lapeer County affected by the 2009 flood event, I can tell you the devastation from those flood waters was absolutely devastating to so many homeowners. Please don’t wait until after a flood happens. Prepare now!

—Mary Piorunek,
Lapeer County Emergency Management Director