Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding

People are trying to protect their homes as Hurricane Irene moves closer. For most local residents, flooding is the biggest concern.

Janet Scribner has her basement packed for emergencies with plenty of food for herself and her pets. Perhaps the best thing Scribner has as Irene approaches is flood insurance.

“I just asked my agent about earthquake insurance,” she said. In the D.C. area, wind coverage is often standard for homeowner policies.

Experts warn coverage for flooding is separate.

“No one in the United States of America has coverage for flooding in their homeowners policy,” said Bob Rusbuldt of the Independent Insurance Agents of America. “Nobody.”

It’s too late to add the coverage now. “Once a hurricane is named and identified, you can't get coverage for 30 days,” Rusbuldt said.

Residents ased Evan Howell to take down his art installation, saying they’re worried that in high winds would turn the concrete blocks into projectiles.

Charles Harris, who lives in Bloomingdale, worries most about flooding. “We get as much as four feet of water in the basement,” he said.

Harris has brought in some sandbags to protect his home. Even with flood insurance, neighbor Scribner is sandbagging too.

“I just think it's good to be prepared for any eventuality,” she said.