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Flood Insurance Specialists Answering Survivor Questions

BATON ROUGE, La. – Specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are reaching out to Louisiana Hurricane Isaac survivors who have specific questions about their flood insurance claims or about new regulations that may affect how they rebuild.

At recent public meetings in Plaquemines and St. John parishes, FEMA experts in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) addressed some of survivors’ general concerns about insurance and rebuilding. FEMA administers the NFIP, which makes flood insurance policies available through local insurance companies throughout Louisiana.

The NFIP experts are also participating in workshops in Plaquemines Parish to answer the same kinds of questions from policyholders.

Since the public meetings, the NFIP specialists are contacting survivors who submitted specific questions in writing. Based on those conversations, the specialists are researching the policyholder’s claim or concern, and then offering to meet with the person at a Disaster Recovery Center to provide an in-depth response.

“We understand that survivors in hard-hit parishes have some difficult decisions ahead and we want to help them make those decisions based on the best available information,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gerard M. Stolar of FEMA. “In some cases, it’s just a matter of clarifying what FEMA can or cannot do for them by law.”

For some survivors, the NFIP specialists are simply letting them know why they need to submit a list of the property that was destroyed in the flooding or how their loss is settled. For others, specialists are researching building codes that apply to current flood maps, and the requirements policyholders may have to follow when they rebuild. In other cases, the specialists are offering recommendations to help the survivors make decisions.

“We suggest homeowners use information provided by our insurance specialists to make the best decision when rebuilding their homes,” said Brian Bartley, leader of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Insurance Task Force. “They should take into consideration the possibility of a higher cost of insurance if they decide to rebuild based on current flood maps, as those maps are set to change.”

Bartley said his team also encourages survivors to stay in touch with their insurance agents and keep the lines of communication open. “The agent will be their adviser once FEMA’s direct role in Hurricane Isaac recovery is complete,” he said.

Any policyholder with questions about flood insurance or concerns about their claims may speak to an NFIP specialist using FEMA’s Hurricane Isaac Flood Insurance Call Center. The toll-free number is 1-866-331-1679. Help is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. Additional information is available at www.floodsmart.gov.

For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.

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About Posted by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer. In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials. Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat. Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republicanand The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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