(WHTM) — Wild weather can happen at any time, and it can be disastrous. We’ve recently seen the toll flooding can have, unfortunately many people find out the hard way, they’re not covered.
Recently, dangerous flooding has struck areas across the country, including parts of Pennsylvania.
Historically this kind of flooding has also hit the Midstate, like when he aftermath of Hurricane Ida caused devastation in communities like Hummelstown in 2021.
But it doesn’t always take a major storm to make a major mess.
“Virtually anywhere it can rain it can flood, and if that’s the case then homeowners, small businesses, renters, need to make sure they have the right insurance protection. Which means getting a flood insurance policy in place before that next flooding event happens,” David Maurstad, assistant administrator of the Federal Insurance Directorate at the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
Maurstad has seen first hand the kind of damage weather causes and the financial toll it takes on people you don’t have insurance.
“After every major flood event when I go into a neighborhood there might be one or two homes that have national flood insurance protection,” he said. “Many people believe that either their homeowner or business policy will cover them for a flood event and generally speaking it does not.”
One inch of water in a home can cause up to 25-thousand dollars of damage.
That’s why being covered in crucial.
“It’s important to not wait or try to figure out when that flood event may happen but to contact your insurance agent or insurance company representative now to make sure that you have that right insurance protection in place.”
According to Maurstad, flood insurance is something everyone should think about.
“There’s no question you can get a heavy rain fall event we’ve seen a number of them over the past 12 months, they’re becoming more severe, more frequent. 5-6 inches of rain in a short time can cause a lot of damage even in areas not near a river.”
In fact, Maurstad said there’s a greater chance you’ll have a flood in your home than a fire.
“Many people who experience a flood didn’t think they ever would and so we want to close the insurance gap and make sure people have that flood insurance coverage they need,” he said.
Maurstad added that it’s also important not to wait until a flood event is already forecasted to get insurance.
“With a national flood insurance policy there’s generally a 30-day waiting period so you have to make sure you don’t wait until that flood event is forecast. You need to get that insurance policy in place now,” he said.
Besides insurance, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce your financial risk during a flood.
Remove valuables from the lowest level of your home — like the basement. Raise electrical equipment so it’s not damaged by water on the floor, and keep important documents in a safe container that you can take with you if a flood approaches.
You can find more information on all of this at Floodsmart.gov.