National Flood Insurance Program by FEMA

There has been an overwhelming amount of flood victims from just this year, especially in Allegheny County. Many of these victims are seeking help. Most homeowners, business owners, and renters do not have flood insurance. Private coverage can be unreliable and expensive. A great option for flood victims seeking help are the National Flood Insurance Programs (NFIP).

The Federal Government offers the National Flood Insurance Program that is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NFIP aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. This program enables homeowners, business owners, and renters who are in both high-risk and moderate-to-low risk areas to purchase federally backed flood insurance. Those in participating communicates would agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. The program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but more specifically, flood insurance. For a list of participating communities, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/cis/PA.html

The National Flood Insurance Program covers direct physical damage by flood to your building and/or personal property. The following things are covered under this program:

Covered Building Property

  • The electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces, water heaters, heat pumps, and sump pumps
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets. The damage must be directly caused by flood water. Cabinets that were not damaged by flood water are not covered, even if they match cabinets that were damaged by flood water.
  • Window blinds
  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases attached to the building. There is an exclusion for “loss caused directly by earth movement even if the earth movement is caused by flood”
  • A detached garage, used for limited storage or parking. Up to 10 percent of the building coverage limit can be used, but will reduce the total amount of building coverage available.
  • Cisterns and the water in them
  • Fuel tanks and the fuel in them, solar energy equipment, and well water tanks and pumps

Covered Personal Property-Contents

  • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Portable and window air conditions (easily moved or relocated)
  • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
  • Carpets not included in building coverage (carpet installed over wood floors, etc.)
  • Clothing washers and dryers
  • Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
  • Food freezers and the food in them (but not refrigerators)

Not Covered for Building or Personal Property

  • Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner or which are not attributed to the flood
  • Damage caused by earth movement, even if the earth movement is caused by the flood
  • Additional living expenses, such as temporary housing, while the building is being repaired or is unable to be occupied
  • Loss of use or access of the insured property
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption
  • Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, planets, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools
  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers such as stock certificates
  • Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts

Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor:

  • Flood insurance coverage is limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, including crawlspaces, depending on the flood zone and date of construction and in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. This includes:
    • Basements
    • Crawlspace under and elevated building
    • Enclosed areas beneath building elevated on full-store foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
    • Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings

Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor-Covered Building Property:

  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases attached to the building
  • Central air conditioners
  • Cisterns and the water in them
  • Drywall for walls and ceilings (in basement only)
  • Non-flammable insulation (in basement only)
  • Electrical outlets, switches, and circuit-breaker boxes
  • Fuel tanks and the fuel in them, solar energy equipment, and well water tanks and pumps
  • Furnaces, water heaters, hear pumps, and sump pumps

Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor-Covered Personal Property:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Food freezers and the food in them (but not refrigerators)
  • Portable and window air conditioners

Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor-Not Covered Under Building or Personal Property

  • Paneling, bookcases, and window treatments such as curtains and blinds
  • Carpeting, area carpets, and other floor coverings such as tile
  • Drywall for walls and ceilings (below the lowest elevated floor)
  • Walls and ceilings not made of drywall
  • In certain cases, staircases and elevators
  • Most personal property such as clothing, electronic equipment, kitchen supplies, and furniture

We would like for Council to consider adopting a plan like NFIP for the flood victims in Allegheny County. Due to the amount of rain the county has received this year, major flooding has been an issue, especially in Bethel Park. If a system like NFIP were to be adopted for and in Allegheny County, we could assist current flood victims and provide quick aid to future flooding victims. We could also assist other counties in developing a plan like NFIP on the county level if Allegheny County’s Flood Plan were to prove successful.

Contact Information

Website: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program

Phone Number: (800)-621-FEMA

Email: floodsmart@fema.dhs.gov

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!