June 1, 2018

Protect Your Property and Reduce Flood Risk During Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins today. Dare County urges residents and property owners to make preparations now to protect their homes and property against flood damage. Contrary to popular belief, 1 in 4 flood losses occur in low-risk X zones.

“I urge all property owners to review their insurance policies to make sure they have adequate coverage. Although property in X zones is considered to have minimal risk, X zone property owners should consider purchasing a preferred risk flood insurance policy. Flooding doesn’t follow the boundaries of a mapped flood zone,” remarked Planning Director Donna Creef.

Assess flood risk: Dare County is one of the most affected counties when it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms. Residents and property owners have seen firsthand the destructive nature of flooding in our area. Floodsmart.gov offers a one-step flood risk profile, using your address to assess risk factors for flooding and provide you with valuable information and tips to protect your property. Local insurance agents may also provide flood risk information.

Review insurance coverage: Carefully review your insurance policies and find out specifics on what is or is not covered. If you recently renovated your property, be sure your coverage includes the cost of improvements. Most basic homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage and you may need to purchase a policy that includes not only the structures on your property but contents as well. Renters should speak with their insurance agents to ensure coverage of personal property in the event of a flood. Don’t wait to review your coverage until a storm is approaching, there is typically a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance policies to take effect.  Learn more about flood insurance by visiting FloodSmart.gov and FEMA.gov.

Conduct a Property Inventory: In order to process a flood insurance claim, insurance companies may request a written and/or visual record of all major household items and valuables.  Take a video of your property and its contents with your smartphone and email the file to yourself to archive/save for future use. Be sure and keep a file of serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Keeping digital records will enable property owners to access them anywhere without fear of losing them to fire, flood or any other unforeseeable event.

Reduce flood damage risk: A few proactive home maintenance and improvement measures can mean the difference in hundreds versus thousands of dollars in flood damage.

  • Make sure rain gutters and drains on your property are clean. Regularly cleaning and maintaining gutters and storm drains and removing debris from your property will allow the free flow of potential floodwater.
  • When the possibility for flooding is apparent, move valuables and sentimental items to the highest floor of your property.
  • Install backflow valves in waste lines to prevent water from flowing in one direction.

For more information about flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program, visit FloodSmart.gov and FEMA.gov.

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