Flood Safety Awareness Week is March 14-18, 2022
Low risk doesn’t mean no risk! Nobody ever thinks it’s going to be their house, but a common misconception is that living or owning property in a moderate- or low-risk area means that you’re not at risk of flooding or that you don’t need to be prepared for a flood. It can flood anywhere it can rain. Below are five reasons why low risk doesn’t mean no risk and why you should prepare before you are impacted by a flood.
What is low-, moderate-, and high-risk?
- Moderate- to low-risk flood areas are designated with the letters B, C, and X on FEMA flood maps. In these areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced, but not completely removed.
- High-risk flood areas begin with the letters A or V on FEMA flood maps. These areas face the highest risk of flooding. If you own a property in a high-risk zone and have a federally backed mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance as a condition of that loan.
Five reasons why low risk doesn’t mean no risk:
#1: Floods can happen anywhere. To anyone. At any time. No matter where you live or own property, flooding is always possible. Just because a flood has never happened near your home or property doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about flooding in the future.
#2: Flood maps don’t account for all flooding factors. FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) indicate high-, moderate- and low-risk areas for flooding. These maps however don’t consider other flooding factors common in New Hampshire, including heavy rainfall events, elevated groundwater, overflowing dams, and land development. Find out what risk area you live in using the NH Flood Hazards Viewer.
#3: Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. Since 1978, over 8% of claims through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in New Hampshire have been outside of high-risk areas. A standard insurance policy issued through the NFIP may offer low-cost coverage to owners and tenants of eligible buildings located outside of the high-risk area. Learn more about purchasing flood insurance at floodsmart.gov.
#4: Protection measures can be easy and inexpensive. There are many easy and inexpensive things you can do to protect your home or property from flooding damage. By being prepared, you can minimize loss or damage of your home, property, or business before flooding happens.
#5: Flooding is the most common disaster in New Hampshire. For this reason, 219 communities in New Hampshire have opted to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and have adopted Floodplain Development Regulations that incorporate the minimum federal regulations or development in flood-prone areas. Learn more about the NFIP program and frequently asked questions.
- Visit FloodSmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance.
- Visit ReadyNH.gov to learn how to be ready when a flood happens.
Help spread the word to your community’s residents, colleagues, and friends and relatives during Flood Safety Awareness Week using the following resources.
- Fact Sheets:
- Fact Sheet: Low risk doesn’t mean no risk.
- Fact Sheet: Reason #1 - Floods can happen anywhere. To anyone. At any time.
- Fact Sheet: Reason #2 - Flood maps don’t account for all flooding factors.
- Fact Sheet: Reason #3 - Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage.
- Fact Sheet: Reason #4 - Protection measures can be easy and inexpensive.
- Fact Sheet: Reason #5 – Flooding is the most common disaster in NH.
- Flood Safety Awareness Week Press Release
- Social media messages:
- Social media graphics:
To get daily email notifications during New Hampshire Flood Safety Awareness Week, subscribe to the Flood Lines email list. To subscribe, send your email address to Katie Nelson at Kathryn.O.Nelson@livefree.nh.gov.
- FEMA Flood Map Service Center
- Protect Your Home: What to Ask Your Insurance Agent
- NH Flood Hazards Handbook for Municipal Officials
- NH Floodplain Management Program
- NH Department of Environmental Services
- US Geological Survey Water Data for NH
- National Weather Service: Gray - Portland, ME Forecast Office
- NFIP Resource Library (Print and Email, Social Media, Videos, Images)