Flood prep 2019-08-18 052
Local News

State agencies urge residents to be prepared for emergencies in 2020

Each year, millions of people around the world welcome the start of a new year by making personal resolutions. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI), Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for flooding emergencies in 2020.

  Streets are flooded in Flossmoor
  after heavy rains in August.
  State agencies are urging
  residents to be prepared for
  more flooding this spring and
(Chronicle file photo)

The National Weather Service suggests that abnormally moist ground conditions and unseasonably higher river levels in the upper Midwest could lead to a considerable risk for repeat flooding this spring. With this in mind, state officials are encouraging Illinois residents to consider flood insurance before the next flood occurs.

“Anywhere it rains, it can flood. You do not have to live in a river community to experience the devastating effects of flooding,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “What is important to remember about flood insurance is that this policy takes 30 days to take effect. That is why it is important to purchase and review your plan today in order to protect your family for the future.”

Looking back at 2019, the biggest disaster to impact Illinois was the devastating river flooding that occurred in more than 33 counties, impacting 2.1 million residents. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied the state’s request for individual assistance to help residents get back on their feet following this historic disaster, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has provided more than $19.7 million to Illinois homeowners who submitted flood insurance claims. 

NFIP enables homeowners, business owners and renters in communities that participate in the program and adopt local floodplain regulations to purchase federally backed flood insurance. 

Homewood and Flossmoor participate in NIFP.

“Flooding is the most frequent and costly disaster in the U.S. with average flood insurance claim payments that can surpass $100,000 depending on the disaster,” said IDOI Director Robert Muriel. “However, we recommend that consumers first check their eligibility for NFIP coverage because even if you do not live in a floodplain, you may still be able to purchase a preferred risk policy through NFIP.  IDOI insurance analysts are available to answer consumers’ questions and give tips on purchasing private flood insurance.”  

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) can help determine whether property is located in a high-risk or a moderate- to low-risk area. These maps can be found online at http://msc.fema.gov. 

Additional questions can be directed to a FEMA mapping specialist toll free at 1-877-336-2627. For additional information about flood insurance, visit https://www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_flood.htm.

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