We are not yet two weeks into the current hurricane season, which stretches though the end of November.

Already, though, we have gotten a timely warning about how vulnerable we are to storms and the floods they can cause.

Thankfully, this warning was not actually a storm – though we have already seen one of those develop this year, too. Instead, it is a new study that suggests about 80 percent of local homes could be at risk of flooding from hurricane storm surge.

“Storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, the company that produced the study. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

While there is no question that we face tremendous danger from each storm that develops, far too few of us have protected our biggest investment by purchasing federally subsidized flood insurance.

There is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance to take effect, so you cannot wait until a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico to purchase coverage. The time to do so is now if you don’t already have flood insurance.

Unfortunately, while the CoreLogic study says more than 71,000 homes in the Houma-Thibodaux area could be at risk of flooding, only about 29,000 homes in the local region carry flood insurance.

That is a troubling thought. How many of us could face financial disaster in the case of a flood?

Flood insurance, because it is subsidized by the government, might be more affordable than you think. If you don’t have coverage, call an insurance agency and inquire about the cost of protecting your home and belongings in the event of flood damage.

We have seen in the past that even storms that glance our area can have devastating impacts. And in 2016, were reminded once again that torrential rains can cause widespread flooding even in areas that have not historically seen much flooding.

The fact is that we live in an area that is susceptible to storms and flooding. We have to be honest with ourselves about the threats we face and do what we can to protect ourselves and our property.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.