What is the National Flood Insurance Program?


The National Flood Insurance Program was created by congress in 1968 to reduce the loss of life and property, and the rising disaster relief costs caused by flooding. The program was designed to achieve these goals by: 1) requiring that new and future substantially improved buildings be constructed to resist flood damages; 2) guiding future development away from flood hazard areas; and 3) transferring the costs of flood losses from the American taxpayers to floodplain property owners through flood insurance premiums. In recent decades, over 80 percent of disaster losses nationwide have been caused by floods. 

The NFIP is a voluntary program based on a mutual agreement between the federal government and the local community. Federally-backed flood insurance coverage is available to any property owner in return for mitigation of flood risks by community regulation of floodplain development. Flood insurance, and most types of federal financial assistance, such as mortgage loans and grants, are only available in those communities that adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum NFIP standards. These same standards must also be adhered to by all federal agencies under a Presidential Floodplain Management Executive Order. 

Click here to watch Kill Devil Hills' video on flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program.  
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The National Flood Insurance Program 

A woman stands in her flooded living room. There are a couple of inches of water over the floor and she has a shovel and water-proof boots on. The National Flood Insurance Program logo has been embedded into the top left corner of the photo.

The National Flood Insurance Program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures. It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures. Overall, the program reduces the socio-economic impact of disasters by promoting the purchase and retention of general risk insurance, but also of flood insurance, specifically.

For more information, visit www.FloodSmart.gov. Watch this short informative video,
Why do I Need to Rethink Insurance?

For information on how to obtain a contents-only policy in Puerto Rico, please visit www.floodsmart.gov/PuertoRico.

This year (2018) the NFIP celebrates 50 years of protecting people in the United States against
the perils of flood damage.

Sign Up for GovDelivery updates for the latest information.

Start the Flood Insurance claims process

Flood claim appeals and guidance (please note--you cannot appeal a claim until you receive a denial [for some or all of your claim amount] from your insurance company.)

What should I know and do before and after a floo


You have flood insurance and flooding is expected; what do you do now?

Protecting yourself today means preparing your home or workplace, collecting sources of information, developing an emergency communications plan and knowing what to do when a flood is approaching your home or business.

FEMA’s Flood Loss Avoidance fact sheet is a valuable resource, or visit the NFIP publications page (see "During the Flood") for more information about what to do before and during a flood.

Learn things you can do now to stay safe from flooding due to large storms like hurricanes. It's important to stay informed about what is happening with the storm as it approaches and always follow the instructions of local emergency management officials.

  • TAKE PHOTOS: If you have contents coverage on your flood insurance policy and you haven't already done so, take photos of clothing, flooring, light fixtures, appliances, furniture, etc.--anything that could be damaged by the flood. Having this can help if you end up filing a flood insurance claim later. If you're not sure what your flood insurance policy covers, call your insurance agent.
    • Make sure your sump pump is working. Then, install a battery-operated backup in case of power failure.
    • Install a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
    • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
    • Anchor any fuel tanks.
    • Move furniture, valuables and important documents to a safe place.
  • PROTECT VALUABLE DOCUMENTS: Store copies of irreplaceable documents (such as birth certificates, passports, insurance documents, deeds, etc.) in a safe, dry place. It can also be a good idea to photograph these documents and store the images in a safe place, too.
  • PREPARE YOUR FAMILY: Visit Ready.gov for a complete disaster supply checklist, and to find out how to prepare for and what to do during a power outage.  
  • BE READY TO EVACUATE: Plan and practice a flood evacuation route. Ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
  • PLAN FOR PETS AND ANIMALS: Make a pet and animal plan. Many shelters do not allow pets. Make plans now on what to do with your pets if you are required to evacuate your residence.

Other resources

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference is in three distinct sections:

  • Before the Flood
  • During the Flood, and
  • After the Flood

Community and state leaders, insurance industry professionals, as well as policyholders, renters, homeowners and businesses will find its resources helpful. We have organized this guide to provide succinct information in an easy-to-navigate document and included important, key contact information. To ensure it can be updated as the program evolves, this document has been published electronically.

Read about everything from mitigating your home to reduce flood damage, to information about weather alerts and how to stay safe when it's flooding in, How to Prepare for a Flood.

Information for Policyholders, Help with or without a Disaster Declaration.

Questions? The KDH Planning Department is here to help! Stop by at Town Hall 
or call 252-449-5318 for more information on flood insurance or storm event preparation.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills strongly encourages all residents and
property owners to purchase flood insurance.