Providing Residents with Personalized Flood Data and Tools to Prepare Ahead of Hurricane Season
NORFOLK, VA – March 14 – 20, 2021 is Virginia Flood Awareness Week, and Norfolk is joining the statewide effort to inform residents about flood risk and flood insurance. The city is kicking off the week with the official launch of the Flood Risk Learning Center, co-developed by Civis Analytics and the city’s floodplain staff. The new, interactive website serves as an additional tool for Norfolk residents to better visualize and understand their property’s flood risk and discover ways to protect their property ahead of the 2021 hurricane season.
Throughout the week, the city will share valuable information and resources available to residents. One of the most important steps residents can take to prepare today is to obtain flood insurance. Flood insurance, whether through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private carrier, allows individuals, businesses and communities to quickly and sufficiently recover after a flood. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods.
“Just one inch of water in a home can cause up to $25,000 in damages, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” states George Homewood, Director of Norfolk’s Planning Department. “Flood insurance can mean the difference between recovering and being financially devastated.”
Norfolk participates in the NFIP, which means all residents are eligible for flood insurance, even if they don’t live in a high-risk flood zone. As a Community Rating System community, residents receive a discount on their insurance premium.
Flood insurance policies take a minimum of 30 days to go into effect, which is why the city is encouraging residents to prepare now before the start of hurricane season in June.
In addition to traditional flood maps, residents can now see personalized property data through the Flood Risk Learning Center. A resident can search for a specific address and see potential flood levels pictorially on that property. Each property receives customized interpretations of flood risk and steps both homeowners and renters can take to mitigate flood impacts or lower their insurance premiums.