As the first rainstorms of the season hit our area, Thurston County emergency managers remind homeowners and renters that national flood insurance is the only dependable form of financial protection against flood damage.
"Standard homeowner's insurance doesn't cover damage from flooding, and just a few inches of floodwater inside a home can cause thousands of dollars to repair," said Kathy Estes, Manager of the county's Emergency Management division.
Estes continued, saying that homeowners shouldn't count on federal disaster aid for every flood. "Federal disaster assistance is available only for federally declared disasters, and then most funds come in the form of a loan, repayable in full with interest," said Estes. "Not all floods--even those causing thousands of dollars of damage--are declared disasters by the federal government."
National Flood Insurance Program policies, available through most insurance companies, pay claims whether or not a disaster is declared. Estes urges citizens to purchase flood insurance now because there is a 30-day waiting period after the first payment is made before the policy is effective. And all residents, even those who don't live in a flood-prone area, can suffer devastating losses from flooding. Estes encourages residents throughout Thurston County to get the protection and peace of mind that only flood insurance can offer.
Because the county has completed several flood mitigation and preparedness actions, residents of unincorporated Thurston County can get as much as a 30 percent discount for flood insurance. That's up from 25 percent for flood insurance rate discounts in 2012.
Flood insurance is also available to renters and can cover nonresidential buildings such as farm and commercial buildings. The National Flood Insurance Program will also cover structures that have been previously flooded.
Information on the National Flood Insurance Program is available at 1-800-638-6620 or at www.floodsmart.gov
. Flood Preparedness Tips and Resources:
Download a copy of the 2012 Thurston County Flood Bulletin that includes kit checklists, evacuation tips, contact numbers for government agencies and utilities, and more
- Sign up for Thurston County Emergency Management's Telephone Alert System for river flooding. You can also follow Thurston County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
Track river levels for rivers throughout Thurston County at
For more information on the Thurston County Emergency Management Division, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/em