Seattle, June 25, 1999 -- All flood events are not heralded by burgeoning snow packs and weeks of rainstorms. Sudden, heavy rains don't always leave time for sandbagging, and the resultant flooding doesn't always occur in recognized floodplains. According to FEMA Regional Mitigation Chief Carl Cook, all of the Pacific Northwest is prone to localized flooding -- at any and all times of the year.
"Our smaller urban watercourses and creeks can pack more surprises when it comes to flooding than large floodplains associated with ocean or major river frontage," said Cook. "Localized flooding can strike within hours of heavy rain with devastating effect."
Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is available for residential and commercial buildings, as well as for contents. "You don't have to live in a floodplain to need flood insurance. In fact, 25 percent of all claims are for properties located outside of designated flood hazard areas," said Cook. "And, you can buy flood insurance through any licensed insurance agent or broker. But buy it now. Flood insurance does take thirty days after purchase to become effective, so if you don't have it, contact your agent without delay."
For more information on National Flood Insurance, call 1-800-427-4661. For free copies of FEMA's 63-page booklet: "Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program" call 1-800-480-2520.