Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 29, 2013

Consider insurance


THE ISSUE: The strong possibility for flooding today.

OUR VIEW: If you haven’t yet, it’s a good time to investigate buying flood insurance. Remember, everyone lives in a flood zone.

Very heavy rain will fall across the Kokomo area tonight, as a strong cold front moves across Indiana, the National Weather Service warns.

Beginning tonight, up to 3 inches of rain is possible through Wednesday morning. That will cause dramatic rises to area creeks and streams, the weather service forecasts.

Couple the expected rainfall with melting snow and the rain we’ve already received, and the possibility for flooding in lowland areas is strong.

Fortunately, all the recent precipitation has fallen over several days, not in a single, hours-long downpour. But think back just 10 years ago.

More than 9 inches of rain fell overnight in Kokomo July 4 and 5, 2003.

Three feet of water flooded the basement of St. Joseph Hospital. Many Indian Heights residents were stranded by water. Dozens of families called emergency personnel for assistance.

The Kokomo Fire Department had a four-page list of places it visited within a 24-hour period.

Could it happen again someday? The Federal Emergency Management Agency says yes.

Floods are the No. 1 disaster in the United States. Your home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9 percent chance of fire.

Most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. If you haven’t yet, consider participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. Here’s why:

Federal disaster assistance comes as a loan that must be paid back with interest. According to FEMA, a $50,000 loan at 4 percent interest would be about $240 a month for 30 years.

A $100,000 flood insurance premium is about $33 a month.

For information about the National Flood Insurance Program, an assessment of your home’s flood risk, premium estimates and participating area agents, log on to www.floodsmart.gov. You also can call toll-free at 888-379-9531.

Remember this FEMA warning: Everyone lives in a flood zone.