With the rainy season upon us, now is a good time to look into flood insurance, especially as many parts of the nation are recovering from hurricane damage.
Only a fraction of people who live in floodplains in King County has flood insurance -- 7,200 out of 32,000 people, according to a 2013 survey. This includes both cities and unincorporated areas. Standard policies will not cover flooding.
"It's a tiny fraction of what you're paying compared to your mortgage and other hazard insurance that exists," King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn said. Dunn is also chair of the King County Flood Control District. "I really encourage people if they live in a floodplain to get flood insurance and if they don’t live in a floodplain to think seriously about whether they want to get it or not."
Dunn has advocated for years as the chair of the flood district and has helped secure federal programs in the county that have helped residents pay for flood insurance. The recent program expired at the end of September.
Dunn is also looking at some gaps in existing emergency plans associated with levees in King County. Evacuation and sheltering plans in place also need to be updated, he says, especially in places that would be impacted by a levee breach.
"It’s something we want to take seriously, and the time to think about it is right now, not in January when it’s too late," said Dunn. So the time to think about it right now."
To find out about flood insurance, start at www.floodsmart.gov.
Also, Dunn wants to remind people that they can get flood alerts in 21 different languages by going to the Flood District's website.