Prepare for brunt of hurricane season

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, September 8, 2021

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As the nation begins to recover from the destruction left by Ida, Virginians are reminded to stay vigilant about the threat of floods from future storms.

The Atlantic hurricane season continues through Nov. 30. Conditions still exist for an above-average hurricane season, according to the annual mid-season update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

There’s still time to obtain flood insurance coverage before the end of the season.

Flood insurance facts:

• Standard homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.

• A new flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become effective.

• Renters may obtain a contents-only flood insurance policy to protect belongings.

• One inch of water in a 2,500-square-foot home can cause upward of $25,000 in damages.

“The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation urges everyone to understand their flood risk and take steps now to protect themselves, their families and their property from flood damage and to get flood insurance now,” said Wendy Howard-Cooper, DCR director of dam safety and floodplain management programs. “Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage. Take the steps you need to be sure you are covered in case of a flood.”

The Virginia Flood Risk Information System is one tool Virginians can use to understand their flood risk. Users can quickly search by street address to see if a property is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA. The SFHA is the mapped flood-risk area that would be inundated during a 100-year flood event.

Floods are not confined to these mapped flood-risk zones, however. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. In fact, many of the 2,000 homes that flooded during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were outside the SFHA. Many of the affected residents lacked flood insurance coverage.

DCR works closely with communities statewide to strengthen local floodplain ordinances and help them comply with requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. DCR also offers financial assistance to localities to help mitigate the effects of flooding through the new Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund.

Learn about buying flood insurance at, or contact an insurance agent.

For more information, go to