FEMA encourages residents to consider buying flood insurance

By Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As we get closer to peak hurricane season, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance program are encouraging Floridians to prepare now and consider buying flood insurance.

According to FEMA, it’s important to buy flood insurance ahead of time because it takes 30 days for a new insurance policy to take effect. During the last three hurricane seasons, FEMA said there’s been above average flooding, which if it hits your home can be expensive.

For one inch of water, it can cost roughly $25,000 to fix.

John Tipton’s home in Jacksonville Beach flooded during Hurricane Matthew.

“There were waves. There was roughly 3.5 feet of water in the yard, breaking up against the house and the water obviously went in the house,” explained Tipton.

Tipton said in more than 20 years, his home never sustained any major flooding from a hurricane until Matthew.

After the storm, his home had major water damage and had to be completely rebuilt. He said they had to raise the floor more than 3 feet.

Tipton said fortunately, they did have flood insurance to help cover the cost of the damage.

“If we didn’t have flood insurance, we would be really struggling,” said Tipton.

FEMA said it is important to remember a homeowners policy does not include flood damage. There are several ways to get flood insurance. FEMA recommends talking with your insurance agent. You can also visit floodsmart.gov.

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