Are you prepared for spring flooding?

April 9, 2008 7:24:13 AM PDT
Spring storms can lead to a major weather-related problem this time of year -- flooding. Late last month, southern Illinois, parts of Missouri and Indiana were all under water as heavy rains pounded those areas.

This time of year, many homeowners may want to look at their insurance coverage. Most policies do not cover flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA recently provided its flood insurance administrator to talk about the importance of having flood coverage.

"We need to make sure that people understand that they have to have a separate National Flood Insurance Program policy to provide them with that financial backstop after a flooding event. It covers flooding from a river that goes over its banks, a crick that goes outside of its banks, flash flood from a 6, 7 inch rain in a couple of hours. If there's water damage as a result of a flooding event, then the flood insurance policy pays for the damage that was caused," said David Maurstad, FEMA, Flood Insurance Administrator.

Here are some other tips for homeowners when it comes to flood protection:

  • Prepare for flooding
    • If there's heavy rain or flooding is forecast for your area, elevate the furnace, water heater and other appliances if they could end up in flood waters.
    • Seal the walls of your basement ahead of time. That will help prevent water from getting in -- unless the flooding is really severe.
  • Get flood insurance
    • FEMA puts the average cost of a flood insurance policy at $500 a year. There is a federally mandated 30-day waiting period to get a policy.


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