THE IMPORTANCE OF FLOOD INSURANCE
       
Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in
response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood
victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods.

The Mitigation Division which is a component of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the NFIP and
overlooks the floodplain management and mapping components of
the program.

Over 20,000 communities across the USA participates in the NIFP,
adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to
reduce future flood damage.
Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion yearly through
partnerships with communities insurance industry and the lending
industry. Also, buildings constructed in compliance with building
standards suffer about 80% less damage annually than those not built
on compliance.

For secured financing to buy, build or improve structures in Special
Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you will be required to purchase flood
insurance.   Lending institutions that are federally registered and
insured must determine if the structure is located in a SFHA.

        Flood insurance is available to any property owner located in a
community participating in NIFP. Flooding can be caused by heavy
raining, melting snow, inadequate drainage systems and failed
protective devices such as levees and dams, as well as, tropical
storms and hurricanes.

WHAT IS A FLOOD?

Floods are the most widespread and common of
all natural disasters - except fire. Many
communities in the United States have
experienced some sort of flooding, due to
rainfalls, thunderstorms, or winter snow thaws.

As defined by the National Flood Insurance
Program, flood is: "A general and temporary
condition of partial or complete inundation of
two or more acres of normally dry land area or
of two or more properties (at least one of which
is your property) from:

Overflow of inland or tidal waters,

Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of
surface waters from any source, or
A mudflow.

[The] collapse or subsidence of land along the
shore of a lake or similar  body of water as a
result of erosion or undermining caused by
waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated
cyclical levels that result in a flood."

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE A
FLOOD?

Buy flood insurance. The law may require it, but
the laws of nature demand it.
Flooding can happen anywhere, anytime.
Everyone lives in a flood zone! The many
different flood zones throughout the United
States have different levels of risk.

Understand and know your flood zone. This
helps you understand the risk of financial loss. It
is also important information to consider when
purchasing
         flood insurance.          

There are other things you can do before a flood
to minimize potential loss, to your home and
ensure your family's safety, besides insuring
your property.

Document all your important possession with a
camera or video recorder. In the event your
home is flood-damaged, these documents will
help you file a full flood insurance claim.

Post emergency telephone numbers by the
phone.

Keep important documents and irreplaceable
personal objects (such as photographs) where
they won't get destroyed.

Plan and practice a flood evacuation routine
with your family.

If your dryer and washer are in the basement,
move them to a masonry or pressure-treated
lumber about 12" above the projected flood
elevation.

Install backflow valves or plugs to toilets,
drains, and other sewer connections to prevent
floodwaters from entering.

Commission a licensed electrician to raise
electric components (switches, circuit breakers,
sockets and wiring) about 12" above your home's
projected
flood elevation.

Anchor fuel tanks. An unanchored tank in your
basement can be torn free by flood waters, and
the broken supply line can contaminate your
basement.
An unanchored tank outside can be swept
downstream, where it can damageother houses.

Place the water heater and furnace on masonry
blocks or concrete about 12" above the projected
flood elevation.

WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING A
FLOOD?

You've done everything in your power to
prepare for a flood. You've secured a flood
insurance policy, and made your home     
flood-ready. You've become "flood smart."

If the floodwaters are rising, and there's nothing
you can do to stop them. You can do the
following to make sure your family stays safe
until the water levels drop.  

Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest
updates on the storm.

Fill sinks, bathtubs and jugs with clean water in
the event the water
becomes contaminated.

Follow the local authorities' instruction. If they
ask you to turn off all utilities at the main power
switch and close the main gas valve, do it.

If you are told to evacuate your home, do so
immediately.

Move to the second floor, attic or the roof if the
waters start to rise inside your house before you
have evacuated.

If you've come in contact with contaminated
floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and
disinfected water.

Don't drive through a flooded area. If you come
upon a flooded road, turn around and go
another way. A car can be carried away by just 2
feet of flood water.

Electric current passes through water very
easily, so stay away from downed power lines
and electrical wires.

Look out for animals - especially snakes.
Animals lose their homes in floods, too.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A FLOOD?

If your community has been flooded and your
property has suffered flood damage try to stay
calm and safe.
Follow the instructions below:  

First, if your home has suffered damage, file
claim with your flood insurance
agent.  

  If you are unable to stay in your home, make
sure you say where you can be
reached.

 Take photos of flooded areas of your house to
make filing your claim easier. Try
to save damaged personal property; place these
items outside the home if
necessary. An insurance adjuster will need to see
what's been damaged in order to
process your claim.

 Check for structural damage before re-entering
your home. If there is a chance
that  the building is collapsing, don't go in there.  

 Gas maybe trapped inside, so don't use
matches, cigarette lighters or other
open flames if you go inside your property. In
the event you smell gas or hear
hissing, open a window, leave quickly, and call
the gas company from a neighbor's
home.

  Shut the power off until an electrician has
inspected your system for safety.

  Check for water line and sewage damage. If
there are signs of damage, avoid
using the toilets and the tap and call a plumber.

  Boil water for drinking and food preparation
until local authorities declare your
water supply to be safe.  

  Food , including can goods, that has come in
contact with floodwaters should be
thrown away.

  Follow local building codes and ordinances
when rebuilding. Use flood-resistant
materials and techniques to protect your
property from future flood damage.

BUY FLOOD INSURANCE

One of the most crucial things to do toprotect
your home and family before a flood is to
purchase a flood insurance policy.

You can buy your flood insurance by just our
calling our office at (718) 848-7610
and speak to one our qualified agent or visit our
office at 108-05 Liberty Avenue,
Richmond Hill, NY 11419.

Flood insurance is guaranteed through the
National Flood Insurance Program
(NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Your homeowner's
insurance does not cover flood damage.

Don't wait until you're hit by a flood to purchase
your policy. It regularly takes 30 days after
purchase for a flood insurance policy to go into
effect.

It's an excellent idea to have the same agent who
writes your homeowners or
          other insurances to write your flood
insurance policy so that in the event you
          need to file a claim, you have to deal with
only one insurance agency

HOW DO I PAY FOR FLOOD
INSURANCE?

You can pay the full annual premium for flood
insurance with a credit card
(we accept all major credit cards).

You can also pay by cash, check or money order
Insurance services provided by Stanley K. Raj
Main Street /
New York Inc.
Insurance Services

108-05 Liberty Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11419
718-848-7610
Fax: 718-848-1375
Email : MainstreetNY@aol.com
Licensed by the State of New York
License No.: BR860-300
Keep abreast of current weather conditions
and take precautions if necessary