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According to a report released by the Environmental Research Letters journal, the homes of nearly 4 million Americans are at risk of flooding in the next 100 years if the sea level rises one foot, like many of today’s climate scientists predict. Of all the areas around the country, including vulnerable areas like New Orleans and New York City’s Manhattan, southern Florida is at the greatest risk of suffering from this change.As of today, more than a million and a half Floridians live along the state’s 638 square miles of coastline, which stretch less than one meter above sea level. When you factor in the annual threat of hurricanes and Florida’s severe summer thunderstorms, flooding is a weather event that every resident has to take seriously and prepare for.

Facts and Statistics About Floods in the United States

  • Flooding is the most widespread natural disaster in the U.S. aside from wildfires.
  • Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by floods.
  • Federally backed mortgage lenders can require flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area.
  • Federally backed disaster assistance usually equates to a loan that you have to pay back with interest.
  • Between 2006 and 2015, total flood insurance claims averaged $1.9 billion annually.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program has paid about $52 billion for flood insurance claims since 1978.
  • Flooding has caused about $7.96 billion in damages annually over the past 30 years in the U.S.
  • Flooding is the primary cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
  • The U.S. has had an average of 82 fatalities per year because of flooding over the past 30 years.
  • There are more than 5.1 million active policies around more than 22,000 communities in the U.S.
  • The two most common forms of reimbursement for flood claims are Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Value.
  • The Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the cost to replace your damaged property – reimbursable to at least 80 percent.
  • Most policies don’t go into effect until at least 30 days after purchase
  • All of the country’s 50 states have experienced flooding or flash flooding in the last five years.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry your car away with the current.
  • Six inches of water is enough to knock you off your feet.

How to Prepare Your Family and Property for Flooding in Florida

In addition to insuring your home with flood insurance, you must take steps to ensure your family’s safety and minimize the potential losses during a flood. Every minute counts when water damage is a continuous threat.

To prepare your family for flooding, remember to stock up on:

  • At least one gallon of water per person daily for a week.
  • Enough food to last a week, including non-perishable items, a can opener and cooking equipment like fuel.
  • Flashlights, candles, batteries and lighters.
  • A complete first aid kit and prescription medications.
  • More items that you can gather from this disaster supply kit.

To prepare your property for flooding, remember to protect it by:

  • Safeguarding electrical and climate systems inside the home, elevating major appliances on concrete blocks.
  • Anchoring and raising all of the stuff outside in your backyard and around your home.
  • Modifying the water valves around your home to gate valves.
  • Clearing the drains, gutters and downspouts.
  • Shutting off the electricity at the breaker panel.
Every inch of water can lead to thousands in extra repair costs. That’s why every second counts when experiencing water damage, whether it’s from flooding or a leak. At ServiceMaster 24 Hour, we work around the clock to ensure we minimize the damage and resulting losses.For more information about water damage prevention, including how to prevent mold growth after water damage, read this informative blog post or contact us at any time. We provide fast response to flooding for any homeowners or businesses in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. We’re standing by to handle your case with the utmost urgency.