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New Website Makes It Easier to Accurately Assess Flood Risk, Potential Damage

A new web site, MyFloodRisk.org, gathers and presents information in a way that makes it easier than ever to accurately assess flood risks and costs.

One of the nation’s largest insurance companies developed the site after years of watching people fall victim to outdated and inaccurate flood maps. Therefore, the site analyzes data from many other sources to gain a much more complete understanding of risk.

Assesses Flood Risk for Every Property in U.S.

The site collects relevant flood-related information on every property in the United States and organizes it in a powerful way that makes it easy to visualize your flood risk. Just put in an address and boom. You’re scrolling through screen after screen that shows:

  • Your base flood elevation
  • Slab elevation
  • Proximity to flood zones
  • Total FEMA insurance claims in your county
  • Total recorded flood events in your county
  • FEMA disaster assistance grants in your state to date
  • Potential for storm surge (not really a factor in the Lake Houston area, but important in you have a vacation home further south)
  • Frequency of tropical storms, and more.

See a few of the screen shots below.

Quickly see what flood zone you are in and the percent of FEMA payouts in that zone. I was shocked to learn that even though I am in an X zone, 20% of all NFIP claims and one-third of all federal disaster assistance comes from an X zone.
Based on your address, the site calculates the difference between your slab elevation and the base flood elevation.

Note, even though I’m more than 13 feet above the base flood elevation, during Harvey, the flood came up to my driveway, where first responders were launching rescue boats!

Total FEMA Insurance Claims in Harris County. County will change depending on address.
A composite score pops up as last screen in series and lets you download a PDF of entire sequence.

Flood Damage Calculator Estimates Cost Per Inch of Floodwater

Not only is there a flood RISK calculator. The site also contains a flood LOSS calculator. For the latter, you plug in the value of your home and its contents. Then you set the flood height – from one inch to 48″. It calculates how much you could typically expect to lose with a flood of that height.

Potential Flood Loss Calculator. Input values for property and possessions, then use slider on right to see potential losses based on different flood heights.

The scary thing is how much you could lose even you get just an inch of water in your home! Play with it. You will see what I mean.

Free Service, No Purchase Necessary

The web site is affiliated with an insurance company, National Flood Insurance, LLC, which is licensed in all 50 states. I’m sure they will be happy to provide you with a flood insurance quote if you want one, but it’s not necessary to get a quote or talk to an agent to use this free risk and damage assessment service.

Professional Version Available

The site’s manager, Jennifer Scherff, says, “We have a professional version of the website as well that we offer to realtors and lenders. This version is free as well. For professionals we offer liability waivers on our flood risk reports, to bring awareness of true flood risk to the groups of people who are selling homes to unknowing individuals, especially in states where flood disclosure laws do not exist.

“At the end of our wizard tool where you are given a final flood risk score we have a new section that allows the user to answer a few questions and recieve a flood insurance indication quote in seconds. These quotes are the most accurate you’ll find,” claims Scherff. 

Without recommending this, or any other broker/agent, I would just say this. If you live in the Lake Houston Area, you should have flood insurance. As we saw last year, river flooding is not the only threat. With the high intensity rains we get here, street flooding is a constant threat, too.

Delivers “The Right Five”

In the information technology business, they have a maxim called “The Right Five.” Success is all about presenting the Right Information to the Right People in the Right Format at the Right Time in the Right Place. This web site scores a check mark on all five.

Re: the Right Time, hurricane season starts June 1. Remember, it takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect. So if you think you MIGHT want it, the time to start thinking about it is NOW.

You could find all the information they present by yourself if you were willing to crawl the web for hours. They aggregate everything in seconds and present it in an easy-to-understand, graphically appealing format.

The site also contains tips on flood mitigation, flood restoration, a blog, a reference library and a link to get a quote.

Once again, the site is MyFloodRisk.org. I plan to list it on my links page and refer to it often.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/5/2020

919 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 168 since Imelda