SEATTLE, Wash. --The National Weather Service is projecting La Nina weather conditions this year, with attendant wet weather and above average lowland snow events. Here in the Pacific Northwest, flood season traditionally runs early November to early March—and this year may be a real wet one. According to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, National Flood Insurance offers the only comprehensive safety net against flood losses.
"Our first fall storm has already soaked roads and saturated soils throughout much of the Pacific Northwest, and floods are by far our leading cause of disaster-driven property loss," said Murphy. "The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) pays off whether or not there is a Presidential disaster declaration. But there is a thirty-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect, so do not wait until waters rise."
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies are available to communities that agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices, and according to Murphy, virtually every community in the northwest qualifies. "By aggressively managing their floodplains, local officials can guarantee access to affordable coverage, and that’s important," said Murphy. "If you already have flood insurance, keep it current—now is a good time to review your policy to make sure it meets your current needs. If you don’t have flood insurance, now is the time to reconsider your financial exposure."
Flood insurance covers structural damage and contents for all insurable residential and non-residential buildings. Policies can be purchased from any licensed insurance agent or broker. Maximum coverage for single-family homes is $250,000 for the structure itself, and $100,000 for contents. Renters can also insure their personal belongings for up to $100,000. Businesses can insure buildings for up to $500,000 for the structure, and contents for up to $500,000.
For more information about the NFIP visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-4661.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.