April 1, 2011  //  


Media Contacts:
FEMA – Josie Pritchard        (276) 973-0078
VDEM – Suzanne Simmons   (276) 973-0063

April 19, 2002




WISE, VA. – Maintaining a flood insurance policy is one of the most effective protections against the cost of flood damage, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials.

Many residents of Southwest Virginia found out in the aftermath of the March flooding that homeowner policies do not cover damage from rising waters. Steps can be taken now to protect against future flood losses.

Flood insurance backed by the federal government is available to any homeowner, renter or business owner whose property is in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Community participation requires adopting and enforcing local floodplain management ordinances designed to lower the risk of future flood losses.

Residents of any NFIP participating community can buy flood insurance from any licensed agent or company. The premiums for such flood insurance vary according to the risk, the amount of coverage, the deductible amount selected, and the type of building. Nationwide, the average is about $380 a year for $137,000 of coverage.

The coverage limits are as follows:

  • Single family home – $250,000 on the structure, $100,000 on the contents.

  • Businesses — $500,000 on the building, $500,000 on the contents.

  • Renters – $100,000 for personal belongings.

Even if a home or business is not in a floodplain, flood insurance is advisable. Nearly 30 percent of NFIP claims come from properties considered to be at low or moderate risk of flood damage.

More information about the National Flood Insurance Program is available by contacting a local insurance agent or calling the NFIP toll free number, 1-800-720-1090.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Information on the Southwest Virginia disaster is also available on FEMA’s homepage on the Internet at, or VDEM’s homepage at Information also is available through FEMA’s 24-fax-on-demand service by calling (202) 646-FEMA. RADIO NEWS DIRECTORS: For recorded actualities on response and recovery operations call the FEMA Radio Network at 1-800-323-5248.


Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund