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What does the government shutdown mean for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program?

If you’ve been following the news (or even if you just read about current events from what’s trending on social media), you’re aware that this past weekend, the federal government was shut down due to political disagreements.

Now, before an online troll decides to leave a divisive comment or quip about their beliefs, let’s nip it in the bud: The purpose of this blog is to address what this shutdown means for pending claims with FEMA, relating to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María. After all, even if Congress can’t figure out a way to come to an agreement, people who were affected by the 2017 hurricane season have pressing issues regarding the very roofs over their heads.

So what’s the status of the program?

For several years, FEMA has been facing substantial financial woes, which had the program in peril. Congress  proposed legislation to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) once it expired in late 2017. With the circus that’s been going on in Washington for a while, guess what, ladies and gentlemen? The issue was tabled, and the NFIP has expired. (What? You didn’t think that was priority for them, did you?)

During the last government shutdown, FEMA had to furlough 90% of their employees. The same thing happened with the shutdown in the early nineties. So even if there was a remaining portion in their workforce, their ability to function efficiently was severely affected.

What does that mean for people who are waiting for relief?

         If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… Be prepared to wait. As of last week, FEMA referred questions to the Office of Management and Budget, which, in turn, has not provided answers. So, if your claim is pending, be patient.

If you dodged that bullet, you can still obtain flood insurance from a private provider. If you’re not even sure if you need it (or you’ve been paying for insurance without knowing if you need it), contact us. At National Flood Experts, we’ll conduct a free evaluation of your home to determine whether it’s located in a high-risk flood zone. If it is, we’ll help you find reliable insurance. If it isn’t, we’ll help you file the appropriate paperwork to get it removed from an NFIP flood zone… once the government is back up and running.

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