WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Thousands of homeowners and businesses now face the costly task of cleaning up, drying out and rebuilding after torrential rains and flooding from Hurricane Florence.
But those without flood insurance have limited options for financial assistance.
Homeowners returning to flooded homes damaged by Hurricane Florence are now facing the harsh reality of rebuilding.
Tom Santos, with the American Insurance Association, advises homeowners enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program to file their claim as soon as possible.
“Start documenting what the damage is that could be a list of items that were destroyed,” Santos said. “Take pictures if you can.”
Santos said due to the number of claims, full payouts could take time.
“There are some initial payments to help you get started quickly,” he said. “That doesn’t it is the end of your filing. FEMA and insurers try to make sure people are recovering as quickly as possible.”
FEMA said when Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016 there were more than 16,000 paid claims through the NFIP.
Officials said on average, insured homeowners received roughly $40,000 in payouts.
The National Flood Insurance Program provides the vast majority of flood policies in the US, but most American homeowners are not enrolled in the program.
Santos said those without coverage aren’t completely stranded with disaster relief and aid from FEMA, as well as other charitable organization that may be able to help.
In addition, lawmakers said they are working to ensure more federal dollars become available to assist with long-term efforts to help homeowners and communities get back on their feet.
People looking for help with recovery efforts can go to floodsmart.gov and the AIA website for help.