In the time it takes to scroll through social media or search for your car keys, you could estimate the cost to insure your home or business from flooding by using the new Flood Insurance Estimator at GetFloodFluent.org.
Revamped this year to align with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) update of the National Flood Insurance Program’s risk-rating methodology (Risk Rating 2.0), the online tool provides users with an assessment of insuring their home and belongings from flooding based on their responses to a few questions. With the Flood Insurance Estimator, Hampton Roads residents can obtain a more targeted and unique estimate, taking into consideration their home’s distance to local waterways, ground elevation, first-floor height and foundation type. This is an easy first step in understanding the factors that determine the cost of flood insurance.
June 1 marked the official start of Atlantic hurricane season, but anywhere it can rain, it can flood. The damage of just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in repairs. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating loss.
In addition to hosting the Flood Insurance Estimator, GetFloodFluent.org has a wealth of information to help people understand the impacts of local flooding and learn about steps they can take, such as these, to protect their homes and businesses:
Manage rainfall on their property. Make sure gutters are clean; have downspouts direct water away from the home toward grassy areas; add and use rain barrels; and keep a proper grade around the foundation.
Install flood vents. This will help the water flow through the structure if flooding occurs, preventing structural damage to the foundation.
Plant trees and shrubs. Plants stabilize the soil and soak up rainwater, preventing rapid run-off that can overwhelm ditches and stormwater pipes.
Build smart. Add new structures outside the flood risk area, elevate critical systems like HVAC compressors, and consider using permeable patio pavers, stone, crushed shells or gravel in place of sidewalks and paving.
In advance of threatening weather, it is also important for people to store important items at higher elevations, know their evacuation zone (which is different from their flood hazard zone), avoid walking and driving in flood waters, and stay up to date on the latest weather conditions.
For more tips and information about flooding, insurance, and preparedness specific to the Hampton Roads region, visit GetFoodFluent.org.