Agencies launch flood awareness campaign

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Insurance, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH® today announced a partnership to offer disaster safety and prevention information to Ohioans. The partnership was formalized at a signing ceremony this afternoon at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency on the one year anniversary of the Hurricane Ike windstorm.

"This partnership will help families understand that luck is not their best option for confronting hazards like flooding-the nation's most common and costly natural disaster," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and chief executive officer of FLASH. "Affordable home protection options exist and flood insurance is one of the best ways to protect again financial ruin. Unfortunately, less than 1% of Ohioans have flood insurance protection today."

"The Department of Insurance is honored to work with these two fine organizations to help keep Ohioans safe," said Mary Jo Hudson, director of the insurance department. "Through our combined efforts, we'll be able to reach people all across Ohio and get them the information they need to protect their families and homes."

"Ohio EMA works with a variety of great agencies all with strong missions," said Nancy Dragani, Executive Director of Ohio Emergency Management Agency. "But it is partnerships like this one that allow our individual missions to reach farther and wider and ultimately make more of an impact on Ohioans."

Also at today's ceremony, the newly-formed alliance announced a new flood awareness campaign designed to provide Ohioans information on protecting their property from flood waters, keeping themselves safe during a flood and making sure Ohioans are educated about purchasing flood insurance.

The three agencies have developed a web page with different flood safety informational pieces, including tips on protecting property, purchasing insurance and filing insurance claims.

The link to the page is available online at:
www.flash.org
www.ema.ohio.gov
www.insurance.ohio.gov

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH® is a 501(c)(3) collaboration of organizations dedicated to strengthening homes and safeguarding families from disaster. Based in Tallahassee, FLASH is the nation's fastest-growing disaster safety education organization with more than 100 partners. To learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources, visit www.flash.org or call (877) 221-SAFE (7233).

The Ohio EMA coordinates the state's response and recovery from the State of Ohio Emergency Operations Center. One of the primary focuses of the agency is to ensure that Ohio citizens are prepared to respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster and to lead mitigation efforts against the effects of future disasters. During times of disasters, Ohio EMA coordinates activities of responding state agencies and maintains liaison with similar agencies of other states and of the federal government.

The mission of the Ohio Department of Insurance is to provide consumer protection through education and fair but vigilant regulation while promoting a stable and competitive environment for insurers. Ohio insurance consumers with questions and concerns about their insurance can call the Department's consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526. Free information can also be obtained at www.insurance.ohio.gov.