Sept. 15, 2016
NEWS DESK: 225-382-1607
Flood Insurance Rates Remain Unchanged
BATON ROUGE, La. – Despite the worst flooding in recent Louisiana history, flood insurance continues to be available to homeowners, renters and businesses at the pre-flood price. Widespread flood losses in Louisiana will not cause flood insurance rates to rise above scheduled annual increases, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The August flooding does not trigger remapping of flood zones, or changes in base flood elevations. That includes the remapping efforts that have been in process for several years in six of the designated parishes. Revisions of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and Base Flood Elevations (BFE) in those parishes will continue, based on data compiled prior to the latest flood.
However, if your home or business was substantially damaged and you are rebuilding, you may need to mitigate your structures (elevate, etc.) to come into compliance with your community floodplain ordinance. It is crucial that you contact your local floodplain administrator to ensure you are in compliance and obtaining the proper building permits.
Properties located in a floodplain that have federally backed mortgages are required by law to be properly insured against known hazards, such as flooding.
Properties that were not required to have flood insurance by the mortgage lender prior to the floods may not be required to carry it when they are rebuilt. It is important to understand that even if the lender is not requiring flood insurance, it is still available to purchase.
The NFIP offers two types of coverage — building and contents. Keep in mind that your mortgage lender may only require you to purchase flood insurance for the structure. Building coverage will include the structure and attached items such as the electrical system and permanent flooring. Contents coverage will cover items such as personal belongings and furniture for an additional premium.
To find your approximate flood insurance costs and the hazard level of your area, visit www.FloodSmart.gov and enter the property address. An interactive display demonstrates the cost of flood damage by inches or feet of water that enters the house.
For an actual quote on a specific property, you should contact your insurance agent. Policies can be written by authorized insurance agencies; they are underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program administered by FEMA.
Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800- 877-8339.
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Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of External Affairs 500 C Street, S.W, Washington, DC 20472 United States