Flooding can be the most frequent and costly disaster in a community. The likelihood of inland, river and coastal flooding changes over time due to erosion, changing land use, changing weather patterns and other factors. The risk of flooding can vary within the same neighborhood and even between adjacent properties, but nobody is exempt from flood risk. During Virginia’s Flood Awareness Week, Stafford County encourages residents to protect themselves from the costly damage of flood by evaluating their need for flood insurance.
One of the most important steps residents can take to prepare today is to obtain flood insurance. Flood insurance, whether it’s through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private carrier, allows individuals, businesses, and communities to quickly and sufficiently recover after a flood. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods.
Just one inch of water in a home can cause up to $25,000 in damages, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Flood insurance can mean the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. Stafford County participates in the NFIP, which means all of our residents are eligible for flood insurance, even if they don’t live in a high-risk flood zone.
Even if you are not located in a flood plain, you can still benefit from flood insurance, as many homeowners discovered in 2018 when rain inundated yards and flooded in areas that had never flooded. The Virginia Flood Risk Information System (VFRIS) is an online tool Virginians can use to learn about the risk of flooding to their homes, businesses, or community. The tool, provided by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, is publicly available at www.dcr.virginia.gov/vfris. To find out if your property is in a flood zone, visit Stafford’s website at www.staffordcountyva.gov and follow the link to Stafford’s Potential Flood Zone Interactive Map Tool listed under Quick Links on the homepage.
It is important to note that flood insurance policies take a minimum of 30 days to go into effect. Protect the life you’ve built, and purchase coverage well in advance of a disaster. Contact an insurance agent or visit FloodSmart.gov for further details.
More information about Virginia Flood Awareness Week is available at www.dcr.virginia.gov/floodawarenessweek.