Flood Awareness Week: Get insured now before it's too late, experts warn

Posted at 5:46 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 07:33:35-04

If your home were to flood today, would you be covered?

According to the numbers...the answer is probably no.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) says people in more than 90 percent of the state's communities are eligible to purchase federally-backed flood insurance, but only three percent are actually insured.

Virginia Flood Awareness Week runs from March 8-14 this year and was established to encourage Virginians to learn about their own flood risk at homes and businesses. The goal is to boost the state's defense against extreme weather and recurrent flooding.

Flood Awareness Week is held in March, well before hurricane season, because, according to the DCR it typically takes about 30 days for flood insurance policies to go into effect.

Gloucester County's Floodplain Manager Brent Payne compares flood insurance to the flu shot.

"Once you have the flu, it’s too late. Once that storm is offshore and you’re thinking about flood insurance and flood risk, it’s a little too late to go ahead and get flood insurance with respect to that storm. I would say take this opportunity while it’s in your mind, while you have time, and start the process," said Payne.

Storm surge maps of Gloucester County show large areas of land vulnerable to flooding.

Gloucester Flood map

For Flood Awareness Week, Payne says the county is doing its best to promote education about risk and protection, pointing to a 20 percent discount in federal flood insurance premiums for county residents and business owners.

Visit the following websites for help assessing your flood risk and to get more information about insurance:
Official FEMA Website: []
FEMA Map Service Center: []

Virginia Flood Awareness: []
Virginia’s flood mapping system (VFRIS): []

Hampton Roads Flood Awareness: []

Wetlands Watch: []

Gloucester County Website: []