How does the Government help
House Lifting in Flood Zones
That flooding in the United States is a recurring event
is a fact known to all. Research studies have shown
that floods have caused maximum economic loss to
the nation than any other natural disaster. The
severity of floods however varies from year to year
and from location to location.
Providing relief against the devastating effects of
floods has all along been a national priority with the
US Government. The measures taken by the
Government include flood hazard identification,
insurance, state and local land-use controls designed
to minimize flood loss.
During the year 1968, the Congress enacted the National
Flood Insurance Act which is a well-conceived
comprehensive flood risk management program. The
objectives of the legislation are:
* Minimize economic losses due to floods through
purchase of flood insurance
* Promote state/local land-use controls to guide
development away from flood-prone regions
* Bring down federal expenditures for disaster
assistance and flood control.
Interestingly, the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program)
is today one of the major domestic liability - apart from
Social Security System and Federal Health Programs. This
goes to show how concerned the Government is in
combating flood damagers.
Since standard homeowners insurance does not cover
flood, it is essential to have separate insurance protection
from the floods caused by hurricanes, tropical storms,
torrential rains etc. NFIP provides affordable flood
insurance to house owners. Besides, NFIP works in close
cooperation with FEMA specialists and contractors,
hundreds of insurance agents, claims adjusters, private
insurance companies, other connected public officials, and
real estate agents.
House lifting is imperative in the hurricane-prone east and
Gulf coasts - more so, with beach houses and riverfront
homes. The United States Government expects citizens to
avail an insurance program against flood damage - as that
way, grants for flood mitigation and recovery can be better
controlled. In fact, two grant programs are in force - but the
Government allows these grants only to communities that
participate in NFIP.
House lifting is one of the most effective mitigation measures
to prevent flood damages. The idea is to elevate the house to
the base flood elevation level or still higher. FEMA (Federal
Emergency Management Agency) does the flood analysis and
creates flood maps, while the NFIP manages the flood
insurance. Although flood insurance is available to all house
owners, the Federal Government insists on those with homes
in high-risk flood zones to buy the insurance.
House lifting is no doubt an expensive affair. FEMA offers
assistance through its Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
and Severe Repetitive Loss Program.
States, tribal governments and NFIP-participating
communities can apply for this. Flood Insurance Reform
Act (an amendment to the National Flood Insurance Act of
1968) was created in 2004. FEMA's Severe Repetitive Loss
program offers funds to projects to reduce or eliminate
long-term flood damage risks to NFIP-insured houses and
other structures. Like all other grant programs, FEMA
provides its annually updated application and instructions
on its website.
You can purchase NFIP through property and casualty
insurance agents. Rates are set and do not differ from
company to company or agent to agent. These rates however
vary according to the date and type of construction of your
house and the level of risk.
House lifting is a complicated task and you should never
attempt to undertake home elevation without the assistance
of an experienced contractor who is licensed for this type of
work. There are several key steps you need to follow in order
to prepare for and execute a plan to elevate your home.
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