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Virginians urged to know their flood risk, protect their property from flooding during Flood Awareness Week | Local News

Governor Glenn Youngkin has declared March 10-16 Virginia Flood Awareness Week. It’s a time for Virginians to prepare for potential flooding ahead of spring rains, summer downpours and the upcoming hurricane season.  

“Floods are the most common natural disaster and can happen without warning across the commonwealth. We encourage Virginians to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their property by assessing their flood risk and with flood insurance coverage,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Matthew Wells. 

DCR coordinates flood-protection activities across the state and helps communities comply with the National Flood Insurance Program, which allows homeowners to purchase federally backed flood insurance regardless of flood zone.  

Virginians can input their address into DCR’s Virginia Flood Risk Information System (VFRIS) to assess their property’s flood risk. The online platform was recently updated for mobile compatibility and new features include 3D visualization and the Flood Stories tool.  

DCR’s Flood Awareness website offers tools and information including fact sheets, a cost calculator and a risk-assessment tool to help Virginians with flood preparedness.  

The majority of homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage from floods and storm surges. Only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. 

FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program estimate that just 1 inch of water can cause over $25,000 in damages to your home. Without flood insurance, residents could be responsible for paying recovery costs out-of-pocket.  

Almost 90% of Virginia communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Virginians can also purchase coverage through private insurers. 

“Flood insurance is essential to recover and rebuild after a disaster,” said Angela Davis, director of Floodplain Management. “It can take 30 days for a policy to go into effect, so Virginians should review their insurance now to ensure they have coverage well before a storm.”  

There are additional ways renters, homeowners and business owners can reduce potential flood damage to some, but not all, of their property. These include:    

  • Storing important documents in waterproof containers, on an upper floor.    
  • Caulking windows, doors and gaps where pipes and wires enter a building.    
  • Labeling propane tanks with the owner’s name and address.    
  • Choosing tile or other waterproof flooring over carpeting on lower floors.   

“Anywhere it can rain, it can flood,” Davis added. “DCR is proud to be Virginia’s partner in flood preparedness.”    

For more information about Virginia Flood Awareness Week, please visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/floodawarenessweek.

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