FAIRFAX, VA – Free Carfax Flood Checks are now available to help prevent consumers from unknowingly buying a flood-damaged car.

"Anyone buying or selling a used car needs to be aware of potential problems that may exist," says Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "We're committed to providing our customers with the resources they need to protect themselves."

Carfax also has developed an advisory that identifies any vehicle last registered in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster area. The advisory will appear through the Flood Check and Carfax Vehicle History Report for applicable vehicles.

Current estimates are that 571,000 cars may have been destroyed following Hurricane Katrina and could be significantly higher because of Hurricane Rita. Over the coming months, Carfax will be working with law enforcement, state agencies, and private companies to make sure all of these vehicles are properly branded.