Meadville Tribune

Local News

May 4, 2013

ARE WE PREPARED? Be insured in case of emergency

MEADVILLE — In Crawford County, residents need to know what their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies cover in the event of a disaster, said Allen Clark,  director of Emergency Management for the Crawford County Office of Emergency Services.

Floods, tornadoes and winter storms are Crawford County’s biggest natural disaster threats.

“You do need flood insurance if you live in a flood plain,” Clark said.

That’s because a standard homeowner’s or renter’s policy does not cover damages resulting from a flood. Of note, there is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance policies to become effective.

“If the governor or the president declares the county a disaster area then you have FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) or PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency) mobilize assets to aid in recovery.”

Otherwise, if a disaster isn’t declared, it comes down to the individual owner’s insurance or charitable organizations if the person has no insurance.

Some area charitable agencies Crawford County relies on to aid in a disaster are Family Services of Crawford County, the United Way of Western Crawford County, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

FEMA has many educational pieces to help consumers understand the basics of flood insurance, how to protect a home and what to do if, in fact, one becomes a victim of a flood.

-More information: Visit fema.gov.

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