Another hurricane had made its landfall on the southeastern parts of the United States however this time around, Texas and Louisiana might be the first to experience the impacts of Hurricane Nicholas as we move through the week.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

Join us as we unpack how Hurricane Nicholas will impact the southeastern United States and what this could mean considering that these coastal zones, especially Louisiana are still recovering from Hurricane Ida last week.

Enter Hurricane Nicholas

Hurricane Nicholas started out as a typical hurricane however the good news is that it downgraded to a less dangerous tropical storm as it made landfall earlier today, September 14th, 2021. The tropical storm made landfall on coastal Texas with 70 MPH winds according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Tropical storm warnings are everywhere in both Texas and Louisiana.

At the time of writing, northwest Harris County (Texas) is receiving about 1 to 3 inches of rain since the tropical storm made landfall.

However, this doesn't really eliminate the threats when we start to talk about an estimate of 20 inches of rain getting dumped on coastal Texas and the state of Louisiana. It's important to highlight that these two states were in the hot seat of flooding earlier this year.

We need not look further than a few weeks ago when Hurricane Ida made landfall on New Orleans causing massive power outages, devastating casualties, and millions of damages from Louisiana, New York, Tenessee, and towards the eastern coast.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

READ MORE:
Hurricane Ida Impacts in Louisiana, Hurricane Ida Floods New York

Despite this downgrade, we're still talking about the extremely high risks of flood especially in Louisiana and Texas since a lot of factors are just waiting to cause flooding in these areas without any warning once that heavy rains and continuous rainfall start.

What To Expect

When it comes to this type of situation, the biggest threat that Louisiana and Texas will face will be that flash flood. The Southeastern parts of the country are still recovering from all that rainfall and flooding from Hurricane Ida.

This simply means that the ground is still oversaturated with all that water that Tropical Storm Nicholas' heavy rains will be like water hitting hard cement. A lot of overflows might happen with these circumstances given.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

You also have a storm surge warning in place in Port Aransas to San Luis Pass including Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay. Once that water comes in from the coasts, not only the properties in flood zone V will be impacted.

Flash flooding will also be a big problem as the tropical storm adds up to the hurricane season causing more saturation from the ground. Inland bodies of water might also rise significantly.

It's important to highlight that even when that heavy rainfall stops, rivers, lakes, streams, and creeks will continuously collect all that water and rise in a span of a couple of days. This effect is sure to create life-threatening flash floods along the coasts even without massive storm surges coming in.

How To Best Prepare

We've covered a lot about how important it is to have flood insurance. This is basically the heart and soul of our company since this is the only best protection one can get when a flood threat is present in your area.

The thing is a lot of property owners still think that not sitting in a flood zone means that they won't get flooded. Water doesn't know where one flood zone ends and another starts which we've seen happen in the entire state of New York.

How Will Hurricane Nicholas Impact Texas and Louisiana?

READ MORE:
Texas Spring Flooding, Baton Rouge Spring Flooding

You can always secure flood insurance through the government which has fewer restrictions and caters to all types of property through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with a $250,000 coverage for residential properties and $100,000 when it comes to personal properties.

It's important to note that when it comes to the NFIP, those coverages max at the aforementioned amount regardless of your flood zone. This is very different when it comes to private flood insurance carriers which do not have any coverage limits, so you can tailor-fit your coverage depending on your discretion.

Lastly, we want everyone to be safe in this type of weather since no one can really predict when a disaster might happen. If there is a risk of flash flooding detailed by flash flood warning issued by the NWS, we encourage that you follow these to avoid any injury or casualty.

If you want to know more about flood insurance, how to buy flood insurance through FEMA or the private market, or anything about flooding, reach out to us by clicking below.

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, hurricane and tropical storm warnings, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Hurricane Ida is getting closer to about to leave, but it won't leave quietly.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

At the time of writing, the remnants of Ida caused New York City to receive their first flood warning. At least 8 people are already confirmed dead due to this terrible weather we're getting from the hurricane and this flood warning is a testament that the impacts of any hurricane can come from many ends, not just rain.

Today, we want to talk about what this could mean for flood insurance, how to best prepare and protect yourself from any flooding damage caused by Hurricane Ida.

The Empire State

The concrete jungle of New York City is currently holding on tight as its streets are starting to get inundated by floodwater. A flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) earlier today to give a heads up as there is an expected rainfall amount of at least 3-6 inches of rain.

NBC New York (NBC News) reports that 6 people are already confirmed dead in New York just yesterday and this number is still going up. It's no surprise that the NWS has declared multiple flash flood warnings across New York and New Jersey.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

Among the other deaths reported in New York City, a 48-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man died after being found at separate residences, and a 43-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man both died after being found inside a home. This also includes a 19-year-old man who was found dead in Montgomery County. Causes of death and identifications are yet to be announced. 

Police in New York City reported seven deaths, including a 50-year-old man, a 48-year-old woman, and a 2-year-old boy who were found unconscious and unresponsive late Wednesday inside a home according to Providence Journal.

Subway lines also had to shut down due to this weather event and a lot of commuters were stranded for a good while. Twitter is equally flooded with videos of locals showing the heavy flooding inundating cars. Subway Riders also posted videos showing that they had to stand on their seats in cars filled with floodwater.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

All throughout this week, we've been covering a lot about the impacts of Hurricane Ida when it made landfall on Louisiana and caused brutal flooding. After that, we also saw areas in Virginia also face the impacts of Ida just a couple of days ago as a small town in Waverly gets washed away by this weather event.

As of now, a flash flood emergency is declared for the Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Western Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), and Southern Westchester areas in New York as heavy rains are still expected.

New York Flood Insurance

This hurricane hitting the northeast may be impactful when it comes to flood insurance as this proves that given the perfect cocktail of conditions, any place can flood. As we're fast approaching October 1st where the new Risk Rating 2.0 program will start to take place it's important to keep in mind some changes in federal flood insurance that may be impacted by this weather event.

As the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is about to take on a new face when it comes to flood insurance, we should also start seeing the big changes when it comes to understanding flood risks. At our current federal flood insurance program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn't really consider things like climate change and the nature of floods when it comes to their rating system.

Now, we'll start seeing a deeper look into the fingerprint of New York properties' flood risk. Each homeowner will be able to experience the same "equity in action" as FEMA pushes through with this new program. This simply means that property owners are rated based on multiple flood risk variables, which most of the time aren't the same as your neighbors.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

It's equally important to be ready once the flood insurance rate map (FIRM) or flood maps start to change to address this type of flooding incident across New York. Although with the Risk Rating 2.0, the flood zone determination is only needed from a regulatory standpoint, it still is crucial to find the time to understand your risk better.

It may not be a tornado, storm, or flood that will surprise you, but your flood premiums blowing of the roof can really catch you off guard when it comes to these changes with the NFIP.

Equally, this also impacts people who are getting flood insurance from private insurance carriers. If you were to file a claim with your private carrier for the flooding you receive, it's not impossible that you might not get flood insurance from them again since you have had a successful claim in the last 5 years.

Hurricane Ida also showed some of the lapses in understanding how floods work. Looking at New York, one can say that it's not really a flood-prone area in recent years however this doesn't ring true now that we've seen how one hurricane can start severe flooding — even torrential rains can be enough to start major flooding in the area.

New York Flooding: Not a Flood Zone Problem, A Flood Risk Problem

How To Best Prepare

The first thing that we want to remind people is to not ignore flash flood emergency warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). I was scrolling through a tweet on Twitter when I saw a bunch of replies saying that they don't need to worry about all these floods because they're living on the fourteenth floor and things like that. However, water doesn't know the time and when to stop.

You can use your weather app on the phone to check how it's going with or without a hurricane. This also gives you enough visibility for your entire city. Maybe even Spider-Man and Captain America use these apps to get up-to-date.

A lot of people might say that they didn't have enough time to prepare for the possible catastrophic damage that hurricanes and floods can cause, but I digress. Let's all keep in mind that once that hurricane season starts, once winter ends and spring starts, or once rainfall is expected to drop on your area, floods may — most times will surely — follow. Water doesn't know time and flood zones so be safe out there.

If you have questions on flood insurance, how Hurricane Ida will impact flood insurance, what role does time really plays in flood insurance, or anything about floods, click below to reach us:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term. You too can be prepared when events like this happen.

When it comes to flood, especially in this current hurricane season we're having, there's never enough time. Never enough time to really react when that water starts rushing in and since we're talking about properties that are mostly big stuff like houses, mobile homes, stores, and things like that, you can't really move these things into a higher area.

Southwest Virginia Flood: Water Doesn't Know Time

Today, we want to address the recent flooding in the southwestern areas of Virginia which already devastated 20 homes and led to one person missing at the time of writing. We also want to address how we can best prepare and make the most of our time before that flood starts to happen.

Hurricane Ida Hits Virginia

Recent predictions of the path of Hurricane Ida — once tropical storm Ida that immediately escalated to a category-4 hurricane within a 24-hour period as it made landfall in Louisiana — said that the rainfall amount and wind strength would start to subside as it goes deeper into the country. However, this doesn't mean that there's no longer a chance of flood.

Just yesterday, Governor Jim Justice had to declare a state of emergency for 55 counties in West Virginia due to the consistent threat of hurricane Ida on the county. It was the best move as we've seen how much impact even a relatively small amount of rainfall can create. This state of emergency declaration only means that any flood warning will continuously be up since the flood risk is due to the rain.

NOTE: This state of emergency declaration won't be able to get you additional living expenses through the federal government since the president of the United States can only grant that coverage. 

Southwest Virginia Flood: Water Doesn't Know Time

Buchanan County, VA — earlier, a small community in Buchanan County faced an epic flood that caused substantial flood damage to homes, trailers, and other properties. This is after receiving additional rainfall of more than 5 inches as Martinsville Bulletin reports. As we've mentioned at least 20 homes were wiped out by this flood event and 1 person is currently missing as per reports.

This event was shy of three days from the recent flooding and mudslides that happened over at Hurley, Virginia. This is after 3 to 6 inches of rain fell down which impacted areas like Guesses Fork, Paw Paw, and Race Fork.

The floods that are happening in Southwest Virginia are remnants of Hurricane Ida, but the damages would show you that there's a different story about this. One where the moral lesson is that water doesn't know time and will not follow our schedules. We've seen what catastrophic floods can leave in their wake, so how do you protect yourself from these types of situations?

Insurance, Awareness, Preparedness, and Education

When it comes to flood insurance, it's a very easy process compared to how much it can save you when it comes to any type of flood: flash flood, coastal flood, floods due to tides, and things like that. The main concerning fact about flood insurance is many property owners, even those in coastal counties, don't buy flood insurance because they're "not in a flood zone".

We always have to keep in mind that all flood zones get flooded. This is regardless of being in low-risk flood zones, like Flood Zone X, and high-risk flood zones also known as the special flood hazard area (SFHA) like Flood Zone A. Generally, these zones just determine the chance of flooding in a floodplain.

One of the biggest changes to federal flood insurance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is what's called a Risk Rating 2.0. The new Risk Rating 2.0 program will address flood zones only as a regulatory standard whether or not you'll need to carry mandatory flood insurance with your property.

This is a great change because nowadays with climate change flood zones don't really determine how much flood you'll get. We've how larger floods came into low-risk zones because of heavy rainfall, how major storms easily increase flood levels as rivers, river basins, streams, or lakes receive water.

The Risk Rating 2.0 will address your property's unique individual flood risks through what's called a "flood risk score" system. This is measured by looking into multiple flood risk variables of your property such as:

In these times of intense storms which can really cause a lot of catastrophic damage through strong gusts of wind and creating flood magnitudes that can cause massive property damage, you want to make the most of a flood warning or flood watch imposed by the federal government.

One of the biggest enemies when it comes to natural disasters like this isn't the storm causing storm flooding, an active rainfall event increasing water levels, or inches of rain causing flash floods. The biggest thorn to our side when it comes to floods is the lack of preparation.

We hope that Virginia and its residents are safe. If you have any questions on flood insurance, how to see your flood risk, or if you want to file a flood claim, reach out to us by clicking below:

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Buy Flood Insurance Now!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Hurricane Ida recently made landfall on Louisiana with catastrophic winds of 150 mph. Ida was initially a tropical cyclone as it makes its way through Cuba last Friday, August 27. However, Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 hurricane as it travels across the Gulf of Mexico and bound to Louisiana. As soon as Hurricane Ida made landfall, there was an immediate drop in temperatures, storms, and heavy rain was dumped on Louisiana, and communities were left without power.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Today, we want to talk about how hurricanes like Ida are impacted by climate change and what it's changing flood insurance.

Climate Change

It's important to note that climate change impacts how extreme weather events can become. We were able to discuss this on our previous blog which you can read by clicking here.

This devastating climate event is also changing how what was used to be minor hurricanes, now becoming more catastrophic and overnight tropical storms can transform into major hurricanes as we've seen with Ida. Generally, this is due to how it's directly impacting the weather, overall sea level, and surface temperatures of water from our oceans.

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian hit the country with the second strongest landfall with 185 mph. In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall at 180 mph and Hurricane Maria also had 165 mph when the hurricane made landfall in the same year. This is generally due to rising ocean temperatures that fuel stronger North Atlantic Hurricanes.

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

You see, as our climate becomes warmer, minor tropical storms also get powered by this heat and you can even say that it's like turning it up to eleven. Additionally, warmer waters also create more frequent and consistent heavy rainfall as water vapor is easily condensing into rain clouds due to that extra heat. As we've seen just this year, heavier rainfall and torrential rains can easily create devastating floods.

Earlier this year, we've seen areas like Baton Rouge in Louisiana, Nashville and Waverly in Tennessee, Monett in Missouri, and multiple areas in Alabama get about 7 to 15 inches of rain at a given time only to cause massive flooding and, at most time, deadly flash floods in these areas. 

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Flood Insurance Impacts

When it comes to flood insurance, especially federal flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), these types of considerations aren't made until the coming Fall season this year.

in the current version of the NFIP, one of the big determiners of flood risk and rates are mostly things such as flood zones, elevation, and history of flood data like claims. Honestly, this doesn't really address the actual flood risks of property owners and the overall population. Let's say that Property Owner A is not in a flood zone and Property Owner B is in a flood zone.

This creates a massive confusion between these two property owners as the former would not get insurance thinking that they won't need it "because they're not in a high-risk flood zone". However, we have proven true that these zone designations will never represent the overall flood risk of a property.

You can be outside of a flood zone, but if global warming suddenly melts all the snow from winter and starts to oversaturate the ground, rainwater will have nowhere to go other than these low-lying areas. Even small amounts of rain in given this type of situation, that water from precipitation — heavy precipitation or otherwise — can be enough to cause floods.

Sometimes since these floods have strong currents due to it naturally wanting to flow into low-lying areas, the flood damage is all increased significantly. Yes, even low-risk flood zones will be impacted.

The NFIP Risk Rating 2.0

This changes with the new Risk Rating 2.0 program which measures flood insurance rates based on the flood risk score. The Risk Rating 2.0 will easily measure how these types of flood risks from the ever-changing climate since it will start to look into the types of floods your property is receiving, how frequent floods happen in your area, and distance to any body of water.

The Risk Rating 2.0 program will also focus on flood insurance data that your property has when it comes to determining your rates or premiums. All of these will fall into what's called a flood risk score. Here are the things that are staying the same and the new things that will determine your rates with FEMA and NFIP:

Things that are staying the same:

The new things that will come with the Risk Rating 2.0 are as follows:

  • Types of floods that your property experience. This can be either a pluvial flood, fluvial flood, and coastal flood.
  • First-floor height and elevation of the structure. A new feature that determines your flood risk score is the distance between the ground (grade) from your first floor or the first habitable floor of your property.
  • Flood Risk Mitigation Measures made on the property. Is the lowest floor above the base flood elevation? Are there enough flood openings to let floodwaters through?

How Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

The impacts of climate change are something that we will never control and is already irreversible. However, we shouldn't focus on the things outside of our control, but on the things that we have power on such as preparing ourselves from these impacts on floods, tornadoes, tide storm, storm surge, hurricane strength by protecting ourselves from these impacts.

If you want to know more on how to get flood insurance, what is the Risk Rating 2.0, what your flood risk score is, click below to reach out.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you flood risks, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021, the same day 16 years ago that Katrina made landfall. The storm just might throw another vicious punch at the Ohio Valley area as it looks to bring flooding to an already heavy hit area.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've already talked about the possible results of Hurricane Ida on Louisiana and what approaches the state and the federal government made sure they did to ensure that something like Hurricane Katrina won't happen this year. If you want to read on that blog, click here so you can know more about this hurricane.

Today, we want to focus on the threats of Ida to western Tennessee and Kentucky, not only when it comes to flood, but also the general impact of this weather event on the two states.

Tennessee

The Volunteer State is in the hot seat — should we say wet one — when it comes to this type of weather event. Not a week ago, a small town in Humphreys County was devastated with a huge amount of flooding due to continuous rainfall and this caused a lot of troubling numbers to come up. At least 17 inches of rain was dumped on Humphreys County and Waverly alone. This easily led to very grim results as, unfortunately, this took the lives of at least 22 people and about 50 are still missing.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

Earlier this year, we also saw Nashville find itself in shambles during the Spring season overwhelmed the city, and caused flooding due to torrential rains. Franklin had at least 9 inches of rain throughout the two-day period of the heavy rain. The floods were caused mostly by pluvial factors where the already-oversaturated soil was no longer in shape to suck in more water and lead to immense flash floods. You also have to take into account the rising of the Cumberland River due to the continuous heavy rainfall. Sadly, this flash flood event also took 9 lives in its wake.

At the time of writing, News Channel 5 reported that a lot of threats of flash flooding will be brought about by this Storm Level 5 weather event across Tennessee. This immediately prompted a flash flood watch that was issued earlier today and will expire on Wednesday, September 1st. Aside from flash floods, you also have to watch out for possible catastrophic wind gusts and tornadoes as Ida continues its course.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

It's not absurd to think that what happened back in March will repeat itself. We're expecting a very strong hurricane with Ida and it's important that you have the right protection against floods, tornadoes, or even strong winds if you live in Tennessee. If you are inclined to evacuate, make sure that you don't leave your property unprotected and ensure that you take only the safest routes as we overcome this storm.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Tennessee especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Kentucky

Although news and other reports say that when it comes to Kentucky, Hurricane Ida would have already lowered its intensity in comparison to the Category-4 hurricane that the state of Louisiana had to face this week. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood warning in place as a preparation for the cold front that central Kentucky, areas like Lexington, and Louisville because once that rain starts, there's no stopping it even for a minute until the hurricane has passed to the East.

How Will Hurricane Ida Impact Western Tennessee and Kentucky?

We've seen this film before and no one liked the ending when it comes to continuous rainfall and you might even feel safer than anyone just because you're not in a flood zone or a high-risk flood zone. However, this doesn't really exempt you from any threats of flash floods. Always remember that when there's a huge amount of rain and water is no longer going in the ground, most of the time this will runoff to low-lying areas and even low-risk flood zones.

Kentucky, especially its central areas, can expect persistent showers of rain starting today up to Wednesday, September 1st. Keep in mind that even though reports would say that there are only about 2 - 5 inches of rain that the state can expect to receive, floods due to runoffs aren't out of the equation.

If you want to know more about flood insurance in Kentucky especially concerning the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0, CLICK HERE to check out our blog for it.

Hurricane Ida

Ida immediately escalated to a Category-4 after leaving Cuba on Friday and made landfall on the 16th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at Louisiana and the New Orleans area specifically. Sustained winds of 150 MPH with gusty winds that go up to a Category-5. The hurricane was so intense that officials from Louisiana weren't able to order a mandatory evacuation for residents.

At the time of writing, the forecast of rainfall is significantly lower as Ida moves to the eastern coast of the country. Rainfall totals aren't expected to go higher than 6 inches as the hurricane is rapidly weakening as it goes through its course. 

Regardless, it's always better safe than sorry as even relatively small inches of rainfall can be as devastating as the heaviest rainfall. If you have questions on how to prepare and protect yourself and your property from this type of event, what your flood insurance options are in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, or anything about floods, click below.

Get Your Flood Risk Score Here!

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, avoid getting blindsided by weather events, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long term. You can use the links below to call us, email us, or get a quote from us.

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We're sinking deeper into the hurricane and storm season. We've seen how much a consistent amount of heavy rainfall can easily increase water levels regardless if it's a high-risk flood zone or a low-risk area.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Today, we want to cover recent development from the National Hurricane Center about another possible major hurricane closing in New Orleans and Louisiana in general, Hurricane Ida. Considering that just earlier this year, Baton Rouge and its community were devastated by an extreme flooding event.

We want to help you understand how to set your expectations right about this storm event, what the government is expecting to do about it, what we've learned from Hurricane Katrina, and how to save yourself from the possible impacts of rain and flood the areas impacted especially New Orleans city.

If you want to read more on the upcoming changes to flood insurance, you can click here to read our Risk Rating 2.0 update for the state of Louisiana.

Ida Closes In

Louisiana is still recovering from the aftermath of the major storm, rain, or hurricane from last year. With this in mind, Governor John Bel Edwards immediately declared a state of emergency for the state as a major hurricane seems to have ideas of slamming the state after leaving Cuba on Friday.

According to AP News, the National Hurricane Center predicted Ida would strengthen into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with maximum winds of 140 mph (225 KPH) before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sunday. The National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott even said that Hurricane Ida can be a life-altering event for those who aren't prepared for its impacts. We want everyone to participate in this emergency preparedness and emergency response. This time, hurricane preparations aren't just in the hands of emergency responders.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Consequentially, the mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, gave out an emergency declaration for a mandatory evacuation for a small area in the city outside of the levee system. However, the mayor can't say the same for the whole city due to the lack of time.

This is why it's encouraged for the city sitting beside the Mississippi River to prepare themselves for any possible outcome of Tropical Storm Ida: be it catastrophic flooding via flash floods, huge amounts of rain, and unfathomably strong winds.

The state of Louisiana is doing everything it can with the help of emergency officials creating a concrete emergency game plan for the upcoming hurricane.

What We've Learned from Katrina

The expected date of Hurricane Ida landing in Louisiana is coincidentally going to be in the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Since these two hurricanes seem to be a clone of one another, it's best to look at the lessons learned from this massive hurricane event from 16 years ago.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Levees and Pump Repairs

One of the catalysts for the massive flooding during Hurricane Katrina was the failure of the levees. About 50 levees failed to protect New Orleans from floodwaters. In the research done by Tulane University, this was mostly due to erosion and overtopping. The failures of the overall engineering were then improved on 55 levees to ensure that no breach will ever occur in a future event.

It's important to keep in our thoughts that due to this levee failure, an estimated number of more than 1000 people lost their lives along with the billions of losses in damages.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Rebuilding New Orleans

With the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a lot of houses that were rebuilt followed some guidelines in order to prepare throughout any hurricane season. This includes how some property owners installed flood mitigation efforts on their homes like flood openings, elevating the house when it was being rebuilt, and making sure that the right foundation is established against floods.

This didn't mean that everyone got back on their feet as even now — sixteen years after hurricane Katrina — Louisiana and the city of New Orleans are still recovering from the damages brought about by Hurricane Katrina and another flooding in more recent times.

Ida Aims Louisiana: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina

Flood Insurance Changes

One of the biggest things that we've learned from Hurricane Katrina as well as other major weather events like heavy rain, historic winter storm, dangerous storm surge, and things like that is how the flood insurance industry responded. This response came in the form of the new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Risk Rating 2.0 Program.

This new program is aiming down its sight that everyone understands their risk of flooding and its impacts on people. There are a lot of new factors that will come into play when it comes to flood insurance and flood zones will only be from a regulatory standpoint. Many property owners get mislead by flood zones when it comes to the flood threats to them.

There are also many cases where a homeowner doesn't have flood insurance because they're in a low-risk flood zone. This Risk Rating 2.0 change can really help people understand that being in a low-risk flood zone doesn't mean you're in a no-risk flood zone.

It's important that we understand how floodwaters work, not just in general but also in their own specific area. Let's take Louisiana and New Orleans for example. Since most of the state is directly sitting on the coast, the federal government will start to rate you based on the types of flood you're getting and how frequent flooding is in your area.

In this way, it's easy to say that things like how prone your property is when it comes to life-threatening will also come into play when it comes to your rates with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP. 

Education, Awareness, and Preparedness

Regardless of these efforts made through the things we've learned, we still encourage residents of New Orleans and Louisiana to not hesitate if Hurricane Ida might be detrimental to you. It's easy to say that we'll survive it until we can't. We encourage you to make sure that you have the right protection through flood insurance, follow emergency evacuations, and ensure that you, your family, and your property are safe from any possible outcome.

We've witnessed just this quarter how some inches of rain can cause life-threatening flash floods across the country and at the end of the day, being educated, aware, and making sure that you'll also act on what you know will be your saving grace.

If you have any questions on flood insurance, what the Risk Rating 2.0 covers, what your options are in Louisiana, or anything about flood, click below to contact us.

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you with flood risks like hurricanes, your flood insurance, and mitigating your property long-term.

Be safe out there, Louisiana.

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As we approach our last couple of weeks for this month, we also get deeper into the storm seasons brought about the changes in the general weather across the country. We're expecting rains to come since we're already moving from the cold air brought by Winter and into the much warmer air of the following seasons.

Today, let's talk about one of the biggest threats that locals across the state of Texas are about to face: hailstorms and floodings.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

Spring Hailstorms

In the next few days, this effect will be severely felt by locals all over Texas due to the severe storms that are arriving this week. More than 30 million residents are expected to be impacted by this.

A level 4 out of 5 moderate risks for severe weather is in place for parts of West Texas. Take note that even though this is just named as "moderate risk", the impacts of this severe weather may be very devastating. This is because this generally means that there will be severe hail across these areas like Abilene, Lubbock, and can span from Colorado to Kansas as well.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

Coastal sections of Texas and Louisiana may also be experiencing this severe hail.  San Antonio, Amarillo, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City are also included in the threat zone for severe hail.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

Large chunks of hail across the state won't be the residents' only problem when this storm hits.

Supercells

As the moist and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico clashes with the very dry air from the Southwestern desert, this creates the storms that are threatening the state. However, other than the threat of severe hailfall, the first few hours of the formation of these storms can create supercells. Supercell known as the mature stage of thunderstorms, and just like any adult, this type of storm can move and rotate on its own.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

This very dangerous since the severity of the storm's impact can move from one place to the other. This also means that areas that aren't included in the moderate risk areas may soon be placed into it. Heavy rainfall, lightning, large hail, and very strong winds are expected to be with these supercells. When there are strong winds, there's also the threat of tornadoes.

Flood Threat

Since we're talking about storms, heavy rain, and hail, it's also expected that this weather will also bring flooding across portions of the Deep South this week. 11 million people are already under flood alerts across the state from the Dallas metroplex, the northern and central parts of Oklahoma.

Flash flooding is seen to be the biggest issue here once heavy rainfall drops in. Central Texas and the Brazos Valley may receive 5 to 7 inches of rain and this can go up to 8 to 10 inches when you go deeper into North and Central Texas.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

The Sabine River already rose to 12-feet in less than 24 hours. This is the second time this happened in less than a week. Properties near the river are also at high risk of severe flooding due to the possible overflow of water when the river crests.

It's important to note that your flood insurance can help you be protected from the damages that the possible flooding can bring to you. This is called loss avoidance and you can learn more about it through the video below:

It's important to remember that this is just the first wave of the storms that will impact the state of Texas and its nearby states as well. It's best to make sure as soon as now that you have the right protection and coverages across all your insurances.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Hail and High Water: Texas Under Threat of Severe Storms

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation. If you have any questions on this upcoming weather threat, the flood risks in your area, how your flood insurance protects you, or anything about flood, reach out to us through the links below.

You can call us, get a quote from us, and visit our YouTube website to watch our daily flood education videos. We want to help you protect the value of your property long-term and avoid flood risks through flood education and awareness.

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The flood insurance world is constantly changing. You have flood maps being changed every year, you have new floodplain management guidelines, and you have rates all over the board.

 

 

Today we want to look at roles a realtor could play. Many people do not realize that realtors can play a major role in the flood insurance world. You have these different lobbyist groups pushing for change and you have some fighting change in Washington D.C.

So let's first look at how the flood insurance world could be impacted by realtors?

Let's start with a story from about a year ago where a realtor listed a property and sold a property in a special flood hazard area.

About 6 months after the new homeowner moved in the property flooded. After the flood claim the property owner got a notice that this was the 6th flood claim on the property.

However when they bought the property they had been told it flooded one time with less than 1 inch of water.

Now this property owner could have a very difficult time selling this property. This is one of the exact situations why Texas created a new property disclosure law in September 2019. After the hurricanes hit Houston many people were not disclosing all the facts and people were buying properties without knowing they had flooded.

As you can imagine if you were a potential buyer you may not buy a property that had flooded before.

Now let's look at another scenario where a realtor disclosed the proper information. The potential home buyer was able to work with FEMA and local flood plain manager to make sure the flood threat was minimized in the future. Even though this property had flooded 10 times before the risk has now been significantly lowered.

As you can see both of these scenarios could have an impact on flood insurance. One could cause claims to continue to be paid out and another could cause claims to be minimized.

You could see why the National Flood Insurance Program is close to broke and why rates can be very high.

Realtors work very hard every day to get properties sold. Many people do not realize that realtors do not get paid if a property does not sell.

So as you can imagine having properties listed in special flood hazard areas can create some significant obstacles.

This is why it's so important to make potential buyers understand what the flood insurance options are and how to minimize the flooding.

We see this in the Homewood Alabama area everyday. This is one of the most desirable areas to live in Birmingham Alabama. However if you don't know what to look for can also be one of the most expensive areas when it comes to flood insurance.

We see people in this area paying more than $5000 every year simply because they did not know how to minimize the flood threat which could help their flood insurance premiums.

So if you have questions about how to minimize the threat of flooding on your property or the flood insurance options, then click here.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. Which means we are here to help you understand flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property against flooding.

 

 

 

2020 has been a year that no one will ever forget. There are three things we want to look at in 2020 and how they could impact the future of coastal private flood insurance.

  1. Covid
  2. Social Injustice
  3. Hurricanes

 

                                                           Covid

When Covid hit in March of 2020 it caused many businesses to come to a crashing halt.

The hospitality industry has basically been non existent and you couldn't pay someone to get on a cruise ship. Airlines are barely surviving. As this happened businesses turned to their insurance companies for coverage.

However many were surprised to find out that most insurance policies don 't cover this type of disaster. Government put pressure on insurance companies to provide coverage. However its difficult to provide insurance coverage when a premium was not charged for a risk.

As these businesses started to close they started to cancel their policies. This started to impact insurance companies as businesses were no longer needing insurance for a closed business. While this was a minimum impact on the bottom line when you add the next two things it creates a major problem.

 

                                 Social Injustice

2020 has seen the rise of social injustice and unrest across many parts of the country. Portland Oregon has seen many businesses burned and even Atlanta Georgia saw businesses damaged after a man was killed in an altercation with police. 2020 was problem the first time in 50 years that you have seen moratoriums put in place by insurance companies for selling business insurance.

At one point Target had to close its Minnesota stores because of looting.

 

                                                Hurricane Season

Now onto the third maybe the biggest thing to impact insurance companies in 2020. The 2020 hurricane season was predicted to be busy but no one predicted it to be this busy. In fact NOAA has had to make several adjustments to their hurricane predictions for 2020.

As we write this blog at the end of October in 2020 we have had 27 named storms, 11 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. and 5 hurricanes have made landfall in Louisiana.

This ties the record for most landfalls in a year within one state. Florida set the same record in 2005.

Hurricane Sally, Marco, and Delta have all created major damage in the gulf states. In fact Delta and Sally made landfall only 15 miles a part.

Like most people in 2020 insurance companies are eating through their reserves fairly quickly and they are discovering that many of their risk models were off.

So what does this mean for coastal states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

In Mississippi we are already seeing some private carriers halt business completely and we have seen this in Louisiana for a few years. Texas has also had this issue since Harvey.

We could see this pattern start to work its way towards Florida and Alabama.

Does this mean flood insurance will not be available?

No

The National Flood Insurance Program is available for properties where communities participate. It just means that the private flood insurance options could be limited for a while.

This will be a crucial time for you to work with an insurance agency that can defend your risk?

What does this mean?

This means being able to show how a risk may have changed because of mitigation efforts even if it has flooded. We see customers rejected everyday because someone did not defend their property correctly.

If you have questions about what your flood insurance are in these areas then click here. You can also check out our

where we do daily flood education videos. You can also check out our

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property.

 

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I just got back from my first camping trip with my family. We recently decided to get a camper to make as many memories with our 4 year old daughter Lydia as possible.

I travel the country shooting our flood education videos and this was a way for them to come along.

My dad was an eagle scout but I only had the opportunity to go camping as a boy scout once when I was a child. I found it funny as a kid my dad was the only one wearing khakis and a dress shirt on the camping trip. Boy was he along way removed from his eagle scout days.

Geeky hipster holding an abacus against desk

Being a physicist he didn't do much with the outdoors as an adult. By the time I came along my grandparents were older and I didn't get the same experiences with the outdoors like my brothers did. I remember as kids they would go off to camp for a week. I looked forward to that but when it was my turn the camp had closed.

So as you can imagine this camping trip was filled with lots of learning experiences for me and my wife. If it wasn't for my experienced brother in law Jason it probably would have been an epic failure.

It was my first time sleeping in a camper, it was my first time learning how to manage the waste tanks. That was a learning experience.

20200531_131208

It was even my first time using a bath house. 

Old barn and outhouse at Millbrook Village, at Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, New Jersey.

My wife said do you have shower shoes? 

I said what are shower shoes?

Confused. Portrait young man thinking daydreaming trying to remember something scratching head isolated white background. Negative emotion facial expressions feelings. Short term memory loss, failure

She said you can't walk in the bath house bare footed. Many times we don't know the answer to the question until it's time for the question. As you can imagine I had lots of questions when it came to camping.

Like many people who have a question I went to Youtube to get my camping questions answered.

Getting camping questions answered can be much easier than getting flood insurance questions answered sometimes.

So today's question has probably been asked 100 times to me over the years.

Can You Buy Flood Insurance During Hurricane Season?

So can you?

You can buy flood insurance during any season. You might be limited to what options are available. Let's look at the National Flood Insurance Program first. The National Flood Insurance Program generally does not limit you to when you can buy flood insurance. They do put a 30 day wait period on a policy being effective unless it is for a map change or loan closing.

So what about private flood insurance?

You can still buy private flood insurance during hurricane season, but they may have more limitations. Private flood insurance carriers will put moratoriums in place many times when there is a named storm in the Gulf or Atlantic ocean. Generally they will remove this moratorium once the storm has passed and any flooding has stopped.

It's important to remember that like the National Flood Insurance Program private flood also has a wait period. This wait period generally ranged from 5 to 15 days unless its for a loan closing.

Even though you may have a loan closing a moratorium could still stop you from getting flood insurance in place.

So its important that you understand what options are available, what the wait periods are, and that you can get flood insurance during hurricane season.

So if you have questions about getting flood insurance during hurricane season then make sure to visit our website. You can also check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.