DENTON, Texas –– New flood maps become effective in Harris County on Jan. 6, 2017. Residents are encouraged to look at them so they can determine the need to buy flood insurance. By knowing their risks, individuals and communities can make informed decisions about building and development.
Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover the effects of flooding. Anyone without flood insurance risks uninsured losses to their homes, personal property and businesses. Flood insurance is available either through a private policy, or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a voluntary program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Residents with federal mortgages must have flood insurance if the structures are in flood hazard areas. Flooding is the #1 natural disaster in the U.S. and only flood insurance covers these unexpected, damaging and sometimes fatal events. Not all flooding events result in a major disaster declaration. Even when disasters are declared, there are limits to financial assistance.
To learn if your community participates in the NFIP and to review the new flood maps, contact your local floodplain administrator. “We all need to learn what our risks are and prepare for them,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “Floods can happen anywhere.”
FEMA map specialists and flood insurance experts also are available to answer questions. They can be reached by phone and online chat.
FEMA encourages communities not currently participating in the NFIP to examine the benefits of joining the program. Contacting a local insurance agent is the first step to obtaining information about insurance. Folks can visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531 to locate an agent in their area.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.