While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt that can increase your flood risk.
Don’t be caught off guard. Get the facts. Know the risks. Take action to protect yourself, your family,
your business, and your finances—before a weather event occurs and it’s too late.
SPRING FLOOD RISKS
Spring Thaw. Warmer temperatures and resulting snow melt can produce large amounts of runoff in a
short period of time, as each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water. During the early spring, frozen land prevents melting snow or rainfall from seeping into the ground. The water then runs off the surface and flows into lakes, streams, and rivers, causing excess water to spill over their banks.
Add seasonal storms to the mix, and the result is often severe spring flooding.
Spring Rains. Spring storms can bring several inches of precipitation in just hours or can stall out over
an area for days. These heavy rains can lead to severe flooding by oversaturating the ground, overfilling storm drains, or causing rivers to spill over their banks or levees.
Flash Flooding. A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours, which is
caused by intense rainfall from a thunderstorm or several thunderstorms. Flash floods can also occur when there are drought-like conditions.
Levees and Dams. The U.S. has thousands of miles of levees and dams that are designed to protect
against a certain level of flooding. These structures can erode and weaken over time, and they can also be overtopped—or even fail—during larger flood events.
KNOW YOUR RISK
Everyone is at risk for spring flooding, yet many remain unprotected. Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Between 2006 and 2010, the average flood claim was nearly $34,000. That’s more than many survivors can afford to pay out of pocket for damages due to flooding, and without flood insurance, many must cover the costs to repair or rebuild on their own. Consider your risk and the consequences of a flood event, and make the choice to protect yourself.
BE FLOODSMART – REDUCE YOUR RISK
A flood does not have to be a catastrophic event to bring high out-of-pocket costs, and you don’t have
to live in a high-risk flood area to suffer flood damage. Around twenty percent of flood insurance claims occur in moderate-to-low-risk zones.
Property owners should remember:
There are a number of steps individuals and families can take to better prepare themselves for flooding and reduce their risks. Remember to have a family evacuation plan, put an emergency kit together, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe, dry place.
Gather supplies in case of a storm, strengthen your home against damage, and review your insurance coverage's.
Only flood insurance covers flood damage. Most standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.
Remember: it typically takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect, so get your policy now. Flood insurance is also affordable. An average flood policy costs around $600 a year, and rates start at just $129 a year for homes in moderate-to-low-risk areas.