One year ago, during the late hours of April 30 and the morning of May 1, 17 tornadoes struck Oklahoma. These storms carried 5 to 6 inches of rainfall and thousands of Oklahomans were devastated by flooding that resulted in more than $31 million in estimated losses and almost 6,000 flood claims reported.
In the aftermath of mother nature, Oklahomans did what they do best — we pulled together, volunteered to clean up endless piles of debris and helped the state recover. We came together as one to help our neighbors and demonstrated our state’s resilience. Since this time, we have seen an increase in the purchase of flood insurance as a result of this devasting storm. Unfortunately, over time, people start to forget about this disastrous event and drop their coverage.
As another May begins, I’m encouraging Oklahomans to Get Ready now and reminding you of the importance of preparedness. With the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we must take extra precautions and be extra prepared this year.
Here are three important reasons to consider flood insurance:
1. You Live in Oklahoma
Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States and is one of the top four disaster risks in Oklahoma. While most standard homeowners’ policies cover tornadoes, hail and wildfires, they DO NOT cover flood. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.
2. 30-Day Waiting Period
It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. That is why you need to purchase or renew flood insurance well in advance. Waiting until you see water levels rise is too late. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) today.
3. Cost of Flooding
Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an inch of water in a home could cause more than $27,000 in damages, and about 33 percent of all flood claims come from outside of high-risk areas. The cost of having flood insurance is a drop in the bucket, compared to the cost of flood damage. In 2019 nationally, the average flood insurance claim payment was $53,301 and the annual average flood insurance premium payment was $674.
People tend to be optimistic and think they’re not going to be the victims of a disaster. And no one could have predicted the impact on each Oklahoman of a global pandemic, but all of us should use these past examples and maybe personal experiences to Get Ready. While we cannot prevent another flood from occurring, we can get our state financially prepared for the damage when it hits. Let’s make sure that Oklahomans really understand their flood risk. That where it can rain, it can flood. Comm. Glenn Mulready