*Governor Northam Urges Virginians to Buy Flood Insurance by May 1*

*RICHMOND* — Governor Ralph Northam is urging Virginians to purchase flood
insurance or renew their policies on or before May 1, a month before the
official start of hurricane season. Flooding is the most common natural
disaster, and many people do not realize that standard homeowners and
renters insurance policies do not cover damage from floods.

“I urge Virginians to take steps now to protect their lives, their
properties and their financial livelihoods,” *said Governor Northam*. “Make
buying flood insurance a key component of your emergency plan, whether you
live near the water or not.”

When Hurricane Matthew hit southeastern Virginia in October 2016, more than
2,000 homes were damaged. Many of the homes were outside mapped flood zones
and were not covered by flood insurance.
Flood insurance policies take 30 days to become effective.

“If Virginians buy flood insurance now, they can ensure that their coverage
is in effect by the start of hurricane season,” *said Secretary of Natural
Resources Matthew Strickler*. “Flood insurance is a good idea even for
those who are outside established flood zones. As we’ve seen with recent
storms, flooding doesn’t always follow a map.”

The goals of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are to provide
flood insurance, improve floodplain management and develop maps of flood
hazard zones.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) works with
localities to ensure compliance with the NFIP.
“This is an important opportunity for all Virginians to understand their
flooding risk and take steps to protect themselves and their property,” *said
Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Clyde Cristman*.

DCR provides information on flooding and access to the Virginia Flood Risk
Information System at
http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/floodplain-index.

Virginians can go to FloodSmart.gov <http://www.floodsmart.gov/> for
information on flood insurance options.