Plan and Prepare for Hurricane Season

Flood InsuranceTropical storms or hurricanes are most prevalent during hurricane season, officially between June 1st and November 30th. Flood control officials noted that the regions that hardest hit have relatively flat terrain, which makes flooding a risk for many of the residents who live in these areas. This is true in many towns and communities across the beautiful state of Connecticut.

While a person is intent upon securing their family’s safety as their top priority in preparedness efforts, also important is understanding the potentially high cost of repairing flood-damaged structures without flood insurance.

According to the National Flood Insurance Program’s official website, just one inch of water inside a 2,000-square-foot home could result in approximately $21,000 in damages. As the amount of water increases, the cost becomes greater. Those costs continue to rise with other factors, such as the size of the structure affected, and the depth of flooding.

Many people fail to realize, until too late, that flooding is not covered by their standard homeowner’s policies. When weighing the decision to purchase flood insurance, consider the fact that repaying a $50,000 flood-related loan (at a 4% interest rate) from the Small Business Administration can cost around $240 a month for 30 years. The average flood insurance policy usually costs only $400 annually, depending on the area.

Knowing the Potential for Flooding

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) or floodplain maps help determine areas at risk for flooding from bayous, streams and their tributaries overflowing. However, FIRMs do not show:

Risks for flooding when roadside ditches and storm sewers exceed their capacity, or from sheet flow, which is storm water traveling over land to reach the bayous.

Risks for flooding from bayous and streams that have not been studied for floodplain identification and delineation.

Risks for flooding events that exceeds the magnitude of a 0.2 percent (500-year) flood, such as Tropical Storm Allison, which dropped 28.5 inches of rain in 12 hours in some areas in 2001.

Sixty-five percent of the area that flooded during Allison was not in a mapped floodplain, which shows how vulnerable everyone is to flood damage and the need for insurance coverage. Anyone in the process of purchasing a new home should consider purchasing flood insurance. Those already in homes but with flood coverage should contact their insurance advisor to find out about obtaining this insurance. It is not only flood-prone areas that are vulnerable.