Flood Insurance in Punta Gorda & Southwest, FL
Floods are the number 1 natural disaster in the United States. Flooding causes damage and destruction across regions nationwide, wiping out homes and businesses. However, many residents and business owners are unaware that they qualify for flood insurance. You can take steps to reduce the financial impact of flooding before a disaster strikes.
One important step is to understand your risk. Tropical storms and hurricanes can be particularly dangerous and lead to potentially catastrophic conditions caused by heavy rains, storm surge, and inland flooding.
Tropical Storms and Hurricanes: The Risks
Tropical storms and hurricanes can pack a powerful punch with soaking rain, high winds, and storm surge. Atlantic hurricanes typically occur from June to November. In addition to causing extensive damage in coastal areas, the storms often bring heavy rain hundreds of miles inland, posing a threat to millions of people who don’t live near a shoreline.
Tropical storms and hurricanes have the potential to unload heavy and sustained rainfall that can overwhelm drainage systems and result in flooding. In 2011, Tropical Storm Lee generated up to 15 inches of rain in some areas and caused major flooding along the Gulf and Atlantic. The storm resulted in more than $450 million in paid flood losses, averaging about $46,000 per loss.
Storm surge is the water that is pushed toward the shore by strong storm winds. These wind-driven waves can cause severe flooding in coastal areas. Storm surge combined with high tides can be extremely dangerous and destructive. In 2008, Hurricane Ike produced a storm surge of nearly 10 feet at its landfall, overtopping the protective sea wall on Galveston Island and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. In total, there were more than 46,000 paid flood losses totaling more than $2.6 billion.
Keep In Mind
Everyone lives in a Flood Zone. We have seen some very torrential rain storms that can overflow roads and properties. Not all flood risks in Charlotte County come with a named storm or hurricane. Floods can happen in a matter of hours, and typically there’s a 30-day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect. Act now and get flood insurance.
Residents and business owners need to prepare for flood conditions. Before the threat of flooding becomes imminent, residents and business owners should:
- Purchase a flood insurance policy if they do not already have one.
- Review their current insurance policy, become familiar with what is covered, and ensure the limits are adequate for their building and personal belongings.
- Make an emergency kit, plan evacuation routes, and keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place.
- Itemize and take pictures of possessions.