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May 2, 2013

With just one month until the official start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges Americans to ensure their families, homes, and businesses are prepared for the risks associated with hurricanes and tropical storms. Individuals and families are encouraged to have a family communications plan and make a kit with essential items like non-perishable food, bottled water, spare batteries, a can opener, and specialty items like medical prescriptions and spare eyeglasses and don’t forget your pet’s food. Property owners should also review their insurance coverage with their agent – including flood insurance – to ensure they’ll be adequately protected in the event of a storm.

As hurricane season approaches, FEMA is coordinating with state and local officials to ensure that all communities along the coast and hurricane-prone areas are prepared to respond. Even as long-term recovery efforts continue from Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy in 2012, now is the time to prepare for this year’s approaching hurricane season. As hurricanes and tropical storms move inland, the high winds and storm surge are often accompanied by torrential rains that increase the likelihood of flooding.

Flood insurance policyholders who live in areas far from traditional hurricane country saw the impacts of Hurricane Sandy last year. Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States and everyone is at risk. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period—from date of purchase—before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.

Flood insurance is available through approximately 85 insurance companies in more than 22,000 participating communities nationwide and is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk. Individuals can learn more about their flood risk and flood insurance options by visiting or calling 800-427-2419.