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Nor'easters are powerful winter storms that typically form between October and April and travel up the Atlantic seaboard. These storms are known for producing heavy rain and snow, along with wind-driven waves that batter the coast from Virginia to Maine, causing severe flooding and beach erosion.

Many people may not think of flood insurance during the winter months. However, it is important for residents across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to protect their property from flood damage year-round. Only flood insurance offers financial protection from flooding.


Nor'easters have the potential to cause as much damage as hurricanes. One reason Nor'easters are so dangerous is that they tend to move much more slowly than hurricanes, accumulating rain and snow, which can increase the risk for flooding. History demonstrates the damaging effects of these winter storms:

In March 2010, a storm hit the New England area (CT, NJ, NY, PA, and RI), causing more than 10,000 paid losses totaling more than $194 million, with an average paid amount of more than $19,000.

In April 2007, residents of Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey were impacted with more than 8,600 paid losses totaling over $225 million. The average paid amount was over $26,000.


Residents in areas susceptible to winter flooding need to prepare in advance for flood conditions. Before the threat of flooding becomes imminent, residents should:

  • Purchase a flood insurance policy if they do not already have one
  • Review their current insurance policy and become familiar with what is and is not covered
  • Make a flood plan. Plan evacuation routes. Keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place.
  • Itemize and take pictures of possessions

Consumers can visit or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a National Flood Insurance policy and the benefits of protecting your home and property against flooding.

What's My Flood Risk?

Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center to locate your flood map to help determine your flood risk.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27-Sep-2016, 1:47 PM (EDT)

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