SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — It’s no secret that Utah has received a lot of snow this winter, but as the weather starts to warm up, all that snow needs to go somewhere. The Utah Division of Emergency Management is urging Utahns to start preparing for potential floods and the damages that may come with them.
Officials say one way to feel assured is to get flood insurance.
“Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, and so if you want to have coverage for flood damage, you need to get a secondary flood insurance policy or a flood insurance rider,” said Wade Mathews, the public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
Flood insurance is offered through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program or through an agent if they are authorized.
The NFIP provides insurance for property owners, renters, and businesses. Individuals can insure buildings, the contents inside the building, or both, through the program.
“Just one inch of water in your home or in your basement can cause $25,000 or more in damages,” Mathews said. “That’s the cost of the repairs and most people don’t have that kind of money and so flood insurance could end up saving them a lot of money.”
Officials say it’s better to purchase insurance sooner rather than later because it typically takes 30 days for the insurance to go into effect.
One way officials suggest to help avoid flooding is clearing out ditches, gutters, streambeds and other places that are fit for moving water.
“People are worried,” Mathews said. “People are apprehensive and anxious because of the risk of flooding but, you know, if people will take action now, that action can overcome those fears and anxieties.”
Mathews also says that becoming aware of your area’s chance of flooding is vital.
You can find out the risk for your home by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website.