Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods can develop over the course of a few weeks or happen at a moment's notice. If you are curious if you live in a flood plain click CLICK HERE to go to check FEMA's maps.
Conditions are favorable for a flooding event.
A flood is occurring or is very likely to occur very soon.
During a Flood:
- Get to higher ground.
- Evacuate if flooding is possible.
- Have alternate escape routes in case one is blocked.
- Take pets with you if you evacuate. However, many shelters usually do NOT allow pets inside due to sanitary conditions so plan accordingly.
- Do NOT try and drive through water. As little as 2 feet can wash away most vehicles, and just a few inches can stall a vehicle or wash away the roadway.
- Do NOT try to cross moving water on foot. As little as a few inches can knock an adult off their feet.
- Monitor TV, radio and social media to find out what actions to take next.
Preparing for a flood
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. In the past several years, about 60 percent of all declared disasters involved flooding.
What to do before a flood…
- Develop a family emergency plan and put together a disaster preparedness kit CLICK HERE
- Safeguard possessions
- Create a personal flood file containing information about possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:
- A copy of any insurance policies with the agent’s contact information
- A household inventory that includes written and visual documentation of all household items and valuables.
- Copies of all other important documents
- Prepare your house
- If the home has a sump pump, make sure it is working and has a battery operated backup system.
- Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
- Raise electrical components at least 12 inches from the home’s projected flood elevation
According to the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) , in the last 10 years, floods have cost U.S. residents nearly $3 billion in damage and losses. Purchasing flood insurance is one of most cost-effective steps to protect yourself financially in case of a flood. An average flood insurance policy only costs about $600/year.
Floods can be very expensive. FEMA’s FloodSmart website has created a tool to quickly estimate the cost of damages from various amounts of floodwater in your home. CLICK HERE to use the cost of flooding tool.
Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents
- Building coverage typically includes:
- The insured building and its foundation
- The electrical and plumbing system
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Contents coverage typically includes
- Clothing, furniture, Curtains and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwaves and dishwashers
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
When flood insurance is required
- Residents of High-Risk Areas
Homes and buildings in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance. These areas have a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year, which is equivalent to a 26% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.
- Residents of Moderate-to-Low Risk Areas
Homes and businesses located in moderate-to-low risk areas that have mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are typically not required to have flood insurance. However, flood insurance is highly recommended because anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods.
- How do I know if I’m in a High-Risk area?
The FEMA FloodSmart website (above) offers a tool to quickly assess your flood risk. By typing your address into the “One-Step Flood Risk Profile” box, you will get detailed information about your flood risk, maps, estimated insurance costs, and contact information of flood insurance agents in your area.
- Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters. The NFIP flood insurance can be purchased through property and casualty insurance agents. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your buildings level of risk. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Additional Information for Homeowners
- Recording and Reporting Damage
- After a Flood: Cooperation, Patience Safety Keys
- Help! The Power Is Out...
- What to do After a Flood or Flash Flood
- First Steps You Can Take After a Flood
- Flood Cleanup and the Air In Your Home
- Water Treatment After a Flood
- Water Well Disinfection
- FEMA - Flood Information For Homeowners
- Indiana Department of Insurance Complaint Form