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Flood Insurance - What do I need?

Flood Insurance – How do I know what I need?

How can you understand flood hazards beyond FEMA maps? FEMA acknowledges that over 30% of flood losses occur outside of mapped flood hazard zones.

The impacts of climate change, development activity in the watershed and changes to the waterway are all factors to consider in determining your flood hazard. You may have used Google earth to model the distance and elevation changes between the floodway and the property to assess flood hazards. This is an improvement on FEMA mapping, but still relies upon the FEMA flood boundaries and the age of the images in Google. It offered some facts, but no analysis of the probability in a user-friendly format.

A New Tool

A new flood hazard tool has emerged. Flood Factor is a digital product of First Street Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and technology organization working to define America’s flood risk. First Street Foundation has released Flood Factor TM an online tool that allows property owners to search their address and find their property’s current and future risk of flooding.

This is a unique tool that also provides a risk factor score based on a 30-year probability window and includes flood depth as part of the assessment. Flood depth is a critical element in estimating potential damage. Online tools explain what is damaged at various depths. A new feature has damage estimates in dollars. This can place the decision into context for the user.

The web site has interactive mapping that allows you to see flood hazards that are around your location. The maps will show flood severity potential that may not be obvious given a single address inquiry. I used this tool to model my childhood home and found that is accurately identified significant flood exposures in the neighborhood. These flood events were related to heavy rains and surface water. That level of data was not present in the FEMA maps.

The Driehaus Difference

We encourage our clients to use this tool and discuss the results with your Driehaus representative. This is a step forward in making informed decisions about a catastrophe hazard. Risk management is at the heart of the Driehaus Difference. Visit our website www.driehausins.com to learn about our products, services and people or call us at 513-977-6860.


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