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FEMA speaks out on importance of flood insurance

FEMA recently came out to publicly encourage residents of Florida and the Gulf Coast to get flood coverage, regardless of how susceptible to risk they may be. In doing this, the government is bringing more attention to the need for proper insurance policies and to prevent having to help out thousands of people who thought it ‘could never happen to them.’
Matt Gilmour of the Tallahassee Democrat highlights this important step on the part of FEMA

With hurricane season under way, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is reminding Florida residents about the importance of flood insurance, even if they don’t live in high-risk areas.

“It takes 30 days for flood policies to take effect and be active, so today’s a good day to speak to a local insurance agent about what policy would be best for you,” FEMA coordinating officer Jeff Bryant said in a written statement.

Anyone who lives in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program can purchase flood insurance, and between 20-25 percent of those who file flood-insurance claims do not live in areas at high risk for flooding, according to a news release from FEMA. After Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, nearly 150 flood-insurance policyholders with properties in areas with a low-to-moderate risk for flooding received more than $7 million from the insurance program in settlement payouts.

“This should be a lesson to us all that everyone needs flood insurance — even those who believe their property won’t flood because their home or business is in an area that normally doesn’t flood,” said Doug Wright, state coordinating officer with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

FEMA is helping all eligible applicants who register directly with the agency and urging them to file claims as soon as possible to help speed up their recovery. For more information, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call (888) 275-6347 or (800) 427-5593.

By being proactive on prevention of home and property owners from having too little of coverage, FEMA and the government are trying to avoid catastrophe while at the same time keep information out and fresh. Both are extremely important and positive actions at a time where money is short and people looking to save a little bit of money might not garner the coverage they need that, in the event of a disaster, could be catastrophic.