FEMA to Texans: Buy Flood Insurance

Less than 8 percent of Texans have flood insurance

By Sara Story
|  Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011  |  Updated 5:30 PM CDT
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Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

FEMA kicked off Flood Safety Awareness Week by educating people about the dangers of flooding.

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Federal officials say Texans aren't prepared for flooding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said only 8 percent of Texans have flood insurance.

Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, and a separate policy is needed, they said.

"The most alarming thing we have found is the lack of folks who have flood insurance for their households," said Philip Beasly, the agency's external affairs director.

FEMA is educating people during Flood Safety Awareness Week about the dangers of flooding and how they can protect their homes from the nation's most common and costly natural disaster.

"In spring time, normally, we get an increase of flooding," said Tony Russell, Region 6 regional administrator.

Russell said flooding can result from a number of factors, including tropical storms, heavy rains and even grass fires.

"A fire will change the vegetation, and it tends to make water run more quickly because the trees or the grass is not there to stop it," he said. "As little as two inches of water can cause over $8,000 worth of damage."

People with a flood insurance policy should make sure it is up to date, FEMA said.

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