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September is National Preparedness Month, which raises awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. This collection of articles will help insurance professionals and their clients mitigate exposures and understand what to do before and after a disaster.

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FEMA had earlier advised insurance companies that offer federal flood insurance policies to suspend sales and renewals under the program. Many FEMA maps are several decades old. Photo: Shutterstock)

A standard part of due diligence before real estate transactions is ascertaining whether the property is prone to flooding. The usual method has long been to rely on the 100-year-old flood maps of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Such reliance is highly misleading. FEMA flood maps can be seriously out of date. They also reflect only historic conditions, not future flooding as a result of sea-level rise and extreme precipitation. Moreover, large parts of the United States are not mapped at all.

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