SEATTLE, Wash. -- Powerful Pacific storms have soaked rivers and river basins to overflow, saturated mudslide-prone hillsides, and stuffed snow packs to record-breaking levels. It's not over yet, and weather professionals suggest that we may all be in the first three-years of a fifteen-year wet season. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Regional Director.
Ray Williams, now is the time for homeowners with flood insurance to reevaluate the adequacy of their coverage, and for homeowners and businesses without flood insurance to buy some!
"Even if we're not in for a decade of wet weather here in the Pacific Northwest, our traditional rainy season may be extended this year, and most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage," warns Williams. "With the snow pack, spring flooding may be more likely, particularly east of the Cascades, and this threat could last through June. Homeowners with flood insurance would do well to reevaluate their levels of coverage. Property values tend to increase, and content coverage may no longer be adequate. Flood insurance does take thirty days after purchase to become effective, so if you don't have it, my advice would be to buy it now."
Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is available for residential and non-residential buildings, as well as for contents, but Williams stressed a certain urgency in acquiring NFIP protection. "You don't have to live in a flood plain to need, or qualify for flood insurance," said Williams. "And, you can buy flood insurance through any licensed insurance agent or broker. But buy it now. It is too late when the water is lapping at your door step."
Free copies of FEMA's 63-page booklet: "Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program" are available by calling 1-800-480-2520.