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Purchase flood insurance before the waters rise

February 22, 2010

Purchase flood insurance before the waters rise

Take action before it's too late; be flood ready

CHICAGO - With considerable snow pack on the ground and spring rains in the forecast, Minnesota residents once again face the threat of flooding along rivers and tributaries throughout the state.  Over the past 20 years, 15 presidentially declared flood disasters have struck the state.

Individuals and families can prepare now for flooding by purchasing a flood insurance policy. It's important to get flood insurance before the snow melts and the rains come, as there is a 30-day waiting period before a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy takes effect.

The average cost of flood insurance premium in Minnesota is about $691 a year - less than $2 a day for financial protection from what could be devastating effects of a flood in a home or business.

"Flooding does not have to stop at a line on a map," said Mitigation Division Director Norbert Schwartz of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region V. "Spring flooding can be impacted by many factors including frozen ground, amount of rainfall and how quickly the snow pack melts. We're all at risk."

Floods are always disastrous to those who experience them, but federal assistance is not always an option when a flood occurs.  While the most prevalent form of federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest loans that are only made available within a federally declared disaster area, a claim on a flood insurance policy can be filed even if a disaster has not been declared.

Homeowners do not have to live in a high-risk flood hazard area to be eligible for coverage; flood insurance is available to anyone who lives in a participating community. In fact, 20 to 25 percent of all claims come from floods that happened in low or moderate flood-risk areas.  Flood insurance can be purchased for both the property and contents; an insurance agent can tailor a policy to fit an individual's needs.

Find out more about flood insurance and your flood risk online at . To purchase a flood insurance policy or to find an agent, call 1-800-427-2419.

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. 

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