SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As Spring draws close and the snow melts off and the potential of floods increases, Governor Spencer Cox has declared March as Flood Awareness Month in Utah.
According to the declaration, flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other weather-related event, and the potential for flooding and flash flooding increases during the Winter and spring seasons in Utah.
Ten of Utah’s fifteen major disaster declarations have been related to flooding, according to the declaration.
The declarations emphasize the need for Utahns can prepare themselves for flooding and other natural disasters by having a disaster supply kit containing food, water, clothing, and other essential supplies.
Officials say it is important to know the flood facts:
Homeowners’ insurance only covers pipe breaks inside of your home. – Flooding caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, and broken water mains from outside the home is not covered by most homeowners and renters policies.
ONE INCH OF WATER CAN CAUSE $26,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE – Repair costs really add up once you’ve done what’s necessary to replace your personal possessions, carpet, drywall, and insulation. To prevent toxic black mold and eroding foundations, repairs must be made to code.
EVEN HOMES OUTSIDE OF DESIGNATED FLOODPLAINS ARE AT RISK – You do not need to live near water to experience flooding. More than 70% of flooding in Utah in the past few years has been outside of the Special Flood Hazard area. Utah has had more flooding and rain events in recent years and not all flood risk is mapped in Utah.
FEMA INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE AVERAGES LESS THAN $5,000 – The value of flood insurance is much higher than the cost. The average property owner can purchase flood insurance for less than $2 a day. Buy flood insurance before a flood happens, otherwise, you won’t be covered.
97% OF UTAHNS DON’T HAVE PROPER FLOOD COVERAGE -Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. If you wait to purchase a policy until after a flood event threatens or occurs, your property won’t be protected from the damage caused by that flood event.
Officials say National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide.
They added that the agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may also be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. NFIP flood insurance policies can only be purchased for properties within communities that participate in the NFIP.
The public can find out if their community participates or look it up online.