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WHEREAS, floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in our country, and 90 percent of all presidential declarations of emergency and major disasters involve flooding; and
WHEREAS, about 200 Americans lose their lives in floods each year; and
WHEREAS, on average, flood damages throughout the nation annually exceed $3 billion, and as of January 31, 2019, flood insurance claims in Virginia totaled more than $730 million; and
WHEREAS, both direct and indirect costs of flood recovery are borne by all American taxpayers, not just flood victims; and
WHEREAS, Virginia has 2.3 million acres of mapped special flood hazard areas, which represents 9 percent of Virginia's land mass; and
WHEREAS, only 3 percent of Virginians statewide are covered by flood insurance; and
WHEREAS, only 31 percent of people who live in a special flood hazard area have flood insurance; and
WHEREAS, floods can happen without warning and all Virginians should know their risk; and
WHEREAS, citizens can view mapped special flood hazard areas on the Virginia Flood Risk Information System available on the website of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the lead state agency responsible for administering flood-related programs; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management produces important public information on flood risk and response; and
WHEREAS, I promulgated Executive Order 24 to Increase Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards; and
WHEREAS, Flood Awareness Week is intended educate Virginians as to the potential risk to life and property from flooding and promote the purchase of flood insurance by all Virginians;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize the week of March 10-16, 2019, as FLOOD AWARENESS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.