NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some may not be thinking of flooding while in the heat of summer in Tennessee, but the potential risk has state agencies including the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency warning residents.
“Flooding occurs every year in Tennessee, often damaging homes and displacing Tennesseans for months or even years,” Carter Lawrence, TDCI Commissioner, stated in a May news release. “Damages due to flooding are not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between the risks facing homeowners and the steps they are willing to take to mitigate those risks. While flood insurance does come with a cost, a flood insurance policy can mean the difference between having a fully or partially covered recovery and having to make out-of-pocket repairs that could spell a financial catastrophe.”
The agencies are emphasizing flood insurance “as part of every homeowner’s disaster preparedness toolkit,” as stated in a recent news release that was shared again by officials on social media this week.
Why now? While it’s only July, national meteorologists have reportedly forecasted above average rainfall in August, September and October 2023. The information is sourced from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, where the Climate Prediction Center issues the Seasonal Outlook maps. The maps feature contours showing the total probability of three categories including above, below or the middle.
Tennessee could likely see above-average precipitation in the coming months. Flooding is reportedly the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and has occurred in every region in Tennessee.
“Preparedness is critical to helping Tennesseans be resilient when faced with a disaster or in its aftermath,” Patrick Sheehan, TEMA Director, stated in a news release. “Resiliency means understanding hazards and threats, like flooding, having multiple ways to receive disaster warnings, having an emergency plan and supplies, and ensuring you are financially prepared so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe before and after an emergency.”
Tennesseans are also encouraged by the agencies to review their flood risk and emergency plan; the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA’s flood map offers a view of a property’s flood risk, which can be found here.
TEMA and TDCI have more information on flood insurance including related data, which can be found here.