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Flood Awareness Week

Flood Awareness Week

10 March 2019 News

Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation designating March 10–16, 2019 as the first Virginia Flood Awareness Week. All Virginians are encouraged to learn the dangers associated with flooding and protect their families, businesses, and communities by getting flood insurance.

“Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, yet most Virginians are not aware of their risk or prepared for the devastating impacts a flood could have,” said Governor Northam. “Recent record-breaking rains remind us how unpredictable and destructive flooding can be. I urge all Virginians to understand how flooding could affect them and take the appropriate precautions to protect their property and their families.”

The Virginia Flood Risk Information System, available through the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation website, is a tool to help Virginians to learn about their flood risk.

“Flooding can happen without warning, and all Virginians should know their risk,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “By entering an address in the Virginia Flood Risk Information System, users can find out if their home or business is in the floodplain and see flood insurance rate maps. Regardless of whether one is in a high-risk zone or not, with recent increases in precipitation and extreme weather, the prudent thing is to research a properties flood risk plan accordingly.”

Property owners outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance from flooding.

Only three percent of Virginians have flood insurance, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, surface water or storm surges. It is estimated that one inch of water in a home can cause upwards of $27,000 in damages.

“Virginians should review their insurance policies to make sure they have the coverage they need,” said DCR Director Clyde E. Cristman. “Coverage is available in eligible communities through the National Flood Insurance Program.”

“By purchasing flood insurance and planning to make your property safer, you can significantly lessen the effects of flooding on your home or business and protect your financial investment,” said State Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Dr. Jeffrey D. Stern.

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