Dear Southeast Texas Resident:
Throughout time, floods have often shaken and shocked the world. Science tells us that rampaging water is so powerful that it literally shaped much of our planet's surface, cutting through mountain ranges, dislodging boulders, etc. And the Bible says that mankind's history was shaped directly by the awesome power of floodwaters in the story of Noah's Ark.
Even today, floodwaters are some of the most ferocious forces of Mother Nature, destroying buildings, bridges, homes and entire communities in their path. Virtually everyone knows what happened to the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines when Hurricane Katrina ripped through the north central Gulf Coast in August of 2005. At least 1,836 people died in Katrina and in the subsequent floods, and it's estimated that the storm caused $81.2 billion in damages. It was the storm of the century. But a couple weeks later, Hurricane Rita arrived, hitting even closer to our homes. The third Category 5 storm of the 2005 rocked the Texas coast, causing $11.3 billion in damage. And, for the most part, the Houston city limits were fortunate enough to escape significant damages.
But we may not be so lucky the next time. Mother Nature is as violent and inhumane as she is unpredictable. Floods can affect practically anyone, anywhere and at almost anytime of the year. No matter where you live in the United States, you have a much greater chance of being impacted by a flood-often as a result of a flashflood-than you do by a fire. According to documented insurance statistics, you have a 9 percent chance of suffering fire damage to your home in the course of a 30-year mortgage, while you have a 26 percent chance of incurring flood damage. And if you live within 100 miles of Houston-in any direction-your chance of experiencing flood damage are exponentially increased.
From Bay City to Beaumont, from Livingston to Lake Jackson, and from Aggieland to Sugar Land, this region-and all of its residents-is one big storm away from devastating floods that could wreck your homes and wreak havoc with your family's physical and financial well-being. Floodwaters can literally rip your world apart. I've seen it happen to too many of our residents, and I have made it one of my top professional priorities to prevent it from happening to you. That's why I am so pleased to provide this website to you and all members of our community. This site will be continually updated to provide you with the latest information and education to protect you and your family from the potentially horrific dangers of floodwaters.
The Barhorst Insurance Group (BIG) has earned national awards and acclaim for placing such a high priority on flood insurance in the last decade. We were named the 2004 and 2005 Agency of the Year by FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program for our work with flood victims and for helping thousands of homeowners understand their flood risks, while offering options for home and business protection through flood insurance coverage. We would consider it an honor to provide flood insurance for you and your family, as well. If your home is not covered by flood insurance, you are gambling with your financial future. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of flood insurance, and we at BIG would love to talk to you about your particular needs. But even if you don't go with us, please, please give serious consideration to acquiring flood insurance. You need it; we all need it.
Likewise, we all need to be better educated about how to protect our families and our assets from floodwaters. That's the reason for this website. Whether you purchase a policy with us or not, we hope you will access this site regularly to ensure that you are equipped with the latest information to prepare yourself and your loved ones for the dangers of dealing with floodwaters. For example, here are a few facts to remember:
- Just six inches of rapidly moving water can knock an adult down
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and stalling
- A mere two feet of water can float a large vehicle, even a bus.
- One-third of flooded roads and bridges are so damaged by water that any vehicle trying to cross stands only a 50 percent chance of making it to the other side
- In flashfloods, waters have been known to rise as much as 30 feet, making flash floods the number one weather-related killer in the country.
- During a flooding event, there is a tremendously increased danger of contracting bacterial, viral and protozoan diseases, as floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage, decaying animals and human remains.
I realize I am not painting a pretty picture here. But there is no point sugar-coating the truth. From personal experience, I can tell you that the devastation caused by floodwaters is often much worse than you could possibly imagine.
While there is no way to project the precise location of Mother Nature's future fury, please consider protecting your family's financial security from the destructive forces of hurricanes and heavy rains with flood insurance. And please send your friends and relatives to this site so that they can receive the latest information to protect themselves. The next big storm is coming. We at BIG want to make sure you are prepared.
CEO, Barhorst Insurance Group