Virginia Cooperative Extension is encouraging residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21, 2016. Hurricanes are one of the most common natural disasters that Virginia experiences. In addition to high winds, other hazards also follow hurricanes including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and tornadoes. Hurricane season begins June 1, so begin planning now.
One of the greatest hazard risks for Virginia residents during hurricane season is flooding. This risk is particularly high in the many coastal communities of Virginia where the elevation is very low and the impact from storm surge is increased. However, inland areas are also susceptible to flooding, especially along rivers and streams that can overflow their banks during intense and sustained periods of rainfall. Even if you have never experienced a flood in the past, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future.
What many homeowners don’t know is that standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not typically cover flooding. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to help provide a means for property owners and those who rent property to financially protect themselves. However, to be eligible for flood insurance, you must live in a community that participates in the NFIP. Fortunately, most communities in Virginia do participate in the NFIP. To find the listing, go to: https://www.fema.gov/cis/VA.html In addition, not all insurance companies participate with the NFIP to sell and service flood insurance policies, so check with your local provider to find out if they do.