The number of Nebraska counties being declared eligible for disaster assistance continues to climb.
As of Tuesday, 81 of Nebraska’s 93 counties are eligible for aid.
The 12 that haven’t yet qualified are clustered in southwest Nebraska and west-central Nebraska. They are: Red Willow, Hitchcock, Dundy, Hayes, Chase, Perkins, Keith, McPherson, Arthur, Grant, Hooker and Thomas.
Nebraska encourages property owners to buy flood insurance
Nebraska officials on Tuesday issued a reminder that flood insurance can be a smart choice even for property owners who think they aren’t at risk.
Every year, more U.S. homes are damaged by flooding than any other type of natural disaster.
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.
The National Flood Insurance Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
More than 400 Nebraska communities participate in the program and any resident of those communities can purchase the insurance, even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood zone. To buy flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent or call 800-427-4661 or visit fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.
The program covers:
• Up to $250,000 in building and up to $100,000 in contents for single- to four-person residences.
• Up to $500,000 in building and up to $100,000 in contents for homes of five people or more.
• Up to $500,000 in building and up to $500,000 in contents for businesses.
Flood insurance typically involves a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect.
For more information, visit FloodSmart.gov or call the flood insurance help desk at 800-427-4661.
Check on permits before rebuilding
Nebraskans should check with local building authorities about local or state permits that may be necessary before starting reconstruction on flood-damaged homes, federal officials say.
These may include building permits, floodplain development permits and permits for repairs on septic systems.
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, at dnr.nebraska/gov/floodplain, lists local floodplain management contacts. If a lagoon was breached or a septic system became inundated, repairs may need to be permitted by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
Rebuilding a substantially damaged structure in a floodplain requires that the property be brought into compliance with local floodplain management regulations. Some options people have are:
» Elevate the building to a height determined by local officials.
» Relocate the structure outside the floodplain.
» Demolish the home.
» Flood proof a nonresidential structure.
For more information or general flood insurance questions, contact your local floodplain administrator, the National Flood Insurance Program at (800) 427-4661 or your insurance agent.
Temporary flood-related jobs available
FEMA plans to hire Nebraskans to help with recovery efforts. Anyone interested in temporary job opportunities should go to USAJOBS.gov and create a free account. The website is updated as new postings occur.
In the search box, type “FEMA Local Hire” and put “Nebraska” in the location box.
A FEMA career fair for military veterans, spouses and working-age dependents will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Veterans Affairs Auditorium, north entrance, 600 S. 70th St., in Lincoln.