Storm Surge and Flood Insurance
Storm surge is caused by water that is pushed toward the shore by storm winds. It can increase the normal high tide by 15 feet or more. In addition, wind-driven waves on top of storm surge can cause severe damage in coastal areas. If an evacuation is ordered for your area, leave immediately and seek higher ground. The threat of storm surge is a major reason emergency officials would order an evacuation.
Residents in Hampton Roads and other at-risk areas need to know their risk of storm-surge flooding. Each storm is different. The size, speed and strength of a storm and the angle it approaches the coast all contribute to the damage caused by storm surge. Local officials may issue evacuation orders for areas that could be affected or isolated by storm surge. General and local storm surge maps for the Hampton Roads region are available from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Although officials may order people living in areas vulnerable to storm surge to evacuate, most residents won’t need to go far to be safe. Just moving to higher ground is all that may be necessary.
All Virginians should understand the importance of flood insurance. A single inch of water in a home or office can cost thousands in cleanup costs. General homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The only way to protect your property from the impacts of flooding is to purchase flood insurance for the home’s structure and contents.
Talk to an authorized insurance agent about purchasing structure and contents flood insurance for your property, keeping in mind:
- There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
- Coverage is relatively inexpensive.
- Contents coverage helps homeowners and renters protect their personal belongings and business inventory.
- Structure and contents coverage helps home and business owners repair or rebuild homes and business facilities.
- You can receive flood insurance payments for flood-related losses even if no disaster is declared.
- Buying flood insurance is the best way to protect your home, your business and your family’s financial security from the costs associated with flooding.
For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online or by call 1-800-427-2419.
For information about how to prepare for all types of emergencies, visit www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia