Natural disasters could be final straw for unlucky debtors

Consumers whose personal finances have already been damaged by the recent recession could face disaster if their uninsured homes are struck by a natural disaster, according to a survey from HNTB Corporation.

HNTB flood management practice leader Rob Vining said that “recent flooding in Nashville put our flood management and levee systems to the test – and they failed.” Residents with a sudden financial strain placed upon them by a natural disaster – cleanup costs for flood damage, say – could encounter serious debt problems.

Levee systems in disrepair, while clearly in the minority, exist across the nation, HNTB said, and it could require a years-long, highly expensive commitment from the Army Corps of Engineers to fix them. In the mean time, many Americans could be unaware that their home is located in a flood area protected by a defective levee.

Experts say that, while home and flood insurance are important to protecting the value of their homes, those with problems saving money should consult with a professional to determine if the coverage would be worth the price.