BOTHELL, Wash. – Winter in the Northwest can be cold and wet. Long days of rain and melting snow can lead to flooding. That is why Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 advises residents to make flood preparedness part of their winter readiness plan.
Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Floods can happen anywhere, not just in mapped flood zones and far from rivers or floodplains. Urban flooding can be an issue when storm drains get clogged with leaves or snow. Homeowners can find their home flooded when their neighbors do not.
“You can’t control the weather but you can prepare for it,” FEMA Regional Administer Mike O’Hare said. “Clear your storm drains and check your insurance policy ahead of winter storms to protect the life you’ve built.”
- Know types of flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
- Floods are not covered by most home insurance policies. Get coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- New flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period, so don’t wait.
- Listen to the FEMA Podcast for more information on flood insurance.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
FEMA's mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters.