Recent flooding in Louisiana underscores the importance of flood insurance for homeowners, something that’s often overlooked in neighborhoods where flooding rarely occurs.

The most recent flooding in Louisiana damaged many areas that had not experienced flooding in many years. It was a sobering reminder that no one is fully immune from the threat of floods.

Everyone lives in a flood zone — it’s just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate or high risk area, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

In the past five years, all 50 states have experienced flooding, the agency noted. In Louisiana, a coastal state, the risk is even greater. In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and floodwaters start to rise. From 2005 to 2014, total flood insurance claims averaged more than $3.5 billion per year. There are currently more than 5.3 million flood policies in force across more than 22,000 communities in the U.S.

We hope that Louisiana doesn’t have any more flooding anytime soon. But there are no guarantees on the score, so homeowners without flood insurance should strongly consider getting it.