Flood Awareness Week: Virginians urged to know their flood risk, protect their property

virginia map
(© niroworld – stock.adobe.com)

Virginia Flood Awareness Week, being marked this year the week of March 14-20, is a time for Virginians to learn about their flood risk and protect their homes and property with flood insurance ahead of spring rains and hurricane season.

Flood Awareness Week builds on a number of initiatives aimed at bolstering the commonwealth’s resilience to hazardous events such as extreme weather, storm surge and recurrent flooding.

Virginians can use the Virginia Flood Risk Information System, available through the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, to identify their property’s flood risk.

DCR is the state agency responsible for coordinating flood-protection activities and helps communities comply with requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage from floods or surface water or storm surges. Only 3 percent of Virginians have flood insurance, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Virginians should review their insurance policies now to make sure they have the coverage they need ahead of spring rains and the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30,” said DCR Director Clyde Cristman. “It takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect, so it’s important to be covered before a storm.”

Nearly 90 percent of Virginia communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, which allows all of their residents — regardless of flood zone — the ability to purchase federally-backed flood insurance. Flood insurance may also be available through private insurers.

“Flooding can cause catastrophic damage, and Virginians should take action now to reduce the risk of future flooding to homes and structures. Preparation now will lead to a better recovery later,” said Virginia Department of Emergency Management State Coordinator Curtis Brown.

“Floods can happen anywhere and anytime,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Even a few inches of flood water can cause extensive damage to your home and its contents. Buying a flood insurance policy is one of the best ways you can help yourself recover financially from a flood.”

The public is invited to participate in these activities to learn about, and share, the impacts of flooding:

Flood Awareness All-Media Exhibit
Feb. 26-March 20
Tuesdays-Sundays, noon-5 p.m.
Art Works, 320 Hull St., Richmond

Twitter Chat
March 16
Noon-1 p.m. EST
Twitter chat focused on flood risk and flood insurance. Follow #FloodAwareChat.

Virtual Roundtable Discussion, “The Impacts of Place, Space, Climate Change and Race”
March 18
6 p.m. EST
Community and policy leaders will discuss the disparate impacts of flooding in minority communities, barriers to recovery and solutions for change. Registration required.

For more information, visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/floodawarenessweek.

augusta free press news