Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How do I know if I live in a flood zone?

There are a few ways to find out if you live in a flood zone or what the flood risk is at your location. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a great web site at www.floodsmart.gov where you can enter your address in the One-step flood risk profile on the left side of the page.

This will tell if your property is at low to severe risk of flooding. It will also give you an estimate of what flood insurance premiums may cost and a list of insurance agents in your area.
On www.floodsmart.gov you can also find information on flood insurance benefits, types of policies, questions to ask your insurance agent, questions to ask your real estate agent, and how to buy flood insurance.
If you already have a home-owner’s insurance agent, they should also be able to tell you the level of flood risk for your property. You could also contact your local City or County Emergency Manager or planning department.

After purchasing flood insurance there is a 30 waiting period for it to take effect so this is a very good time to take action.

Please send questions concerning disasters, emergencies and preparedness to jbailey@oem.state.or.us. I will be happy to answer them in the column.