RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – March 12-18 is Virginia Flood Awareness Week and PlanRVA is encouraging residents of central Virginia to assess their local risk level.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 90% of natural disasters in the United States involve flooding.

“Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in Virginia,” said Katie Moody, Regional Emergency Management Program Coordinator at PlanRVA. “The truth is, floods can happen everywhere and any time of year. The new tool can help people understand and make informed decisions about flood risks.”

Since 1965, 22 major disasters have been declared in the Richmond area. This includes hurricanes, severe storms, snow, ice, droughts and floods. According to PlanRVA, weather can change frequently and heavy rain can quickly cause flooding conditions.

Just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in home damage. Despite this, only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance, which can cover homes, rental properties and businesses.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is the primary source of flood insurance coverage for homes in the United States. Over 5 million people use the program nationwide.

Those living in the Richmond Metro area can use PlanRVA’s Flood Risk Mapper to determine a location’s risk level.

As of 2021, 3,438 NFIP policies were in place in central Virginia. Over 1,400 claims have been filed and $19 million has been paid out since 1978. More information about flood awareness and preparedness can be found here.