‘Flood Awareness Week’ provides Delawareans with resources for flood prevention, experts push benefits of insurance


DELAWARE  – Where it rains, it can flood. It’s a possible reality for many communities across the first state.

That’s why the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environment Control and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency are sponsoring the state’s inaugural Flood Awareness Week. “So we can take action to better prepare at mitigating our situations, protect our families, and our properties,” Delaware State Floodplain Manager David Warga said.

Delaware has the lowest average land elevation in the United States, meaning communities can potentially experience flooding just from a heavy rain fall.

One of the activities for the week included a virtual discussion Tuesday evening, urging homeowners to look into flood insurance. “Don’t wait till you see that little hurricane squiggle coming at the coast, or its been raining for days and all of a sudden your retention pots are overflowing and think hmm, flood insurance may have been a good idea,” State Farm Lewes Agent Jeanine O’Donnell said.

“Over 20% of the flood insurance claims happen outside the floodplain and it impacts all of us,” Warga said.

Environmental experts say even the smallest amount of water can be costly to your home. “And just as an example, 6 inches of water in your home could cause about $52,000 in damage,” O’Donnell said.

“Not many of us have that much money sitting in the bank to pay for damages for your homes so this is why it’s important to carry flood insurance because your standard homeowner insurance doesn’t cover flooding,” Warga said.

Delaware State Floodplain Manager David Warga says time is of the essence, as there’s the potential for higher flooding due to increased rainfall from climate change. “Although we don’t know exactly what that would be at this point in time, it just makes sense to prepare,” Warga said.

Experts say that taking action now can reduce your flooding risks. On average, DRNEC says every $1 spent on hazard mitigation provides Delawareans  $4 in future benefits.

Those with FEMA say that although crucial, flood insurance is only one piece of the puzzle. Homeowners should have flood prevention on the top of their lists when looking to buy or build.

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