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Flood insurance

Rather than wait for a flood to occur, you can act now to protect your property from flood damage.

If the floor level of your property or structure is lower than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) located on the city’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), consider ways to prevent flooding from occurring, such as retrofitting your building. “Retrofitting” means altering your building to eliminate or reduce flood damage. Measures include:

  • Elevating the building so that flood waters do not enter or reach any damageable portion of it
  • Constructing barriers out of fill or concrete between the building and flood waters
  • “Dry flood proofing” to make the building walls and floor watertight so water does not enter
  • “Wet flood proofing” to modify the structure and locate the contents so that when flood waters enter the building there is little or no damage, and
  • Preventing basement flooding from sewer backup or sump pump failure.

There are several good references on retrofitting in the Fort Worth Central Library, located at 500 W. Third St. Many of these will inform you about retrofitting techniques and help you decide which is best for you.

Flood Insurance

Basic homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover damage from floods, so purchasing federal flood insurance is highly recommended.

The City of Fort Worth participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means that federally subsidized flood insurance is available to everyone in the city. Keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy becomes effective. Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank or loan company when they obtained a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents. Remember that a flood insurance policy must be renewed each year.

Mandatory Purchase Requirement: The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair or improvement of any publicly or privately owned buildings in a SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures and furnishings contained in such buildings. If a building is located in a SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building.

Community Rating System

The National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum requirements.

The City of Fort Worth is entering the CRS in the fall of 2011, and this will result in reduced flood insurance premium costs for homes or businesses in the floodplain. The three goals of the CRS are to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings and to promote the awareness of flood insurance.