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:

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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.

As we dive deeper into the hurricane season, we also have to prepare for the upcoming changes to flood insurance across the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is rolling out changes when it comes to flood insurance rates across all states in the country.

The Flood Insurance Guru | West Virginia: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Mountain State, West Virginia has been through very significant flood events in more recent years. We've seen this happen in 2016 when thunderstorms brought torrential rains which dumped 8 to 10 inches of rainfall in just 12 hours. This flood sadly took 23 lives across the state with Greenbier County having the highest number of casualties from the devastating flood.

Earlier this month of June, we've also seen flooding happen in the state. The flood was also caused by 2 inches of rainfall being dumped in a course of about an hour. Within that hour, a lot of roads, parks, and even trees were once again devastated. At the time of writing, the impact of what happened is still felt by the residents.

This is one of the reasons why we highly encourage protecting your property through flood insurance, so you can focus on making sure that you're safe. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is one of the more known flood insurance go-to of people across the country, is bound to change with the Risk Rating 2.0.

We will understand what the Risk Rating 2.0 changes can mean to flood insurance starting this October 1, 2021, and answer:

  • What are the impacts?
  • Who will be impacted?
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly
  • When will these changes happen?


The NFIP 2.0

The Flood Insurance Guru | West Virginia: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Risk Rating 2.0, or commonly known as NFIP 2.0 as well, is more of a move of equity. This update on the federal flood insurance program itself will allow you to no longer pay more than your fair share when it comes to premiums as this would now be based on the value of your property or home starting this October. 

When it comes to the rate changes happening across the country, you're going to see these colors in ranges which represent these changes with flood insurance rates from FEMA. Now, each of these colors represents the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to each state.

The Flood Insurance Guru | West Virginia: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

The Good

Starting off with the good things, West Virginia residents who have flood policies with FEMA and the NFIP will be experiencing these changes coming to Risk Rating 2.0. The good thing is due to the fact that there will be a decrease in flood insurance rates with FEMA.

This change is something that 17% or 2,325 policyholders will experience. The decrease itself will be more than $100 (>$1200 per year) which can kick in immediately. In coastal areas like this where there's a constant risk of flood due to storm surge, it can be very helpful for those who are looking to get protected from unwanted flood loss to have this type of decrease.

The Bad

There are also some bad changes happening to residents of West Virginia when it comes to federal flood insurance. We'll show this as the blue portion of the graph and will cause an increase in flood insurance rates.

This will impact 60% or 7,974 policies in the state who are going to get that small increase. The increase in rates will range from $0 to $10 per month ($0 - $120 per year). Generally, this range can put you in a position where you might not have any change with your flood insurance rates with FEMA hence the range starting from $0 per month.

The Ugly

Lastly, we also have the ugly changes which will be shown by the pink and grey portions. These changes will impact a total of 23% of the policies that FEMA has in force in the state which is one of the biggest ugly changes we're going to see with these changes. This will cause a more significant increase in your rates once the Risk Rating 2.0 kicks in. Let's break them down a bit.

The pink portion will cover the bigger 15% of the two or about 1,939 policies in the state. The increase this time around will be ranging from $10 to $20 per month ($120 - $240 per year) which is why we put this in the ugly change. Virginia has expensive flood insurance premiums from FEMA and when you have to deal with an increase, it may not really help you in choosing federal flood insurance.

On the other hand, we still have to address the grey portion which is the uglier change between the two. This is generally because the increase will be more than $20 per month (>$240 per year). The increase is also expected to have some policyholders even get more than $100 per month increase in their rates with FEMA. This will impact 8% or 1,130 policies in West Virginia

You can see the full graph of these changes below:

The Flood Insurance Guru | West Virginia: New Federal Flood Insurance Risk Rating 2.0

When Will It Happen?

Now, the date when you can adopt this program really depends if you're doing a renewal or if it's a new business policy. You see, you can expect these changes to start on October 1st and you're going to adapt to these rate changes if you're buying flood insurance from FEMA on or after that date. 

On the other hand, if you're doing a renewal with FEMA after that date then you don't have to take in these new rate changes until April 1st, 2022.

So, you want to be very ready for this. We've been talking about this since last year since basically the NFIP is already 30 years old already and is in need of this change. Some would even say that the current NFIP ways are already outdated which really begs for this Risk Rating 2.0 to happen.

If you have questions on these upcoming changes, what are your flood insurance options in West Virginia, or anything about flood, reach out to us through the links below. You can also watch this on our YouTube channel.

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you understand flood risks through education and awareness in flood insurance and preparedness.

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