Disaster Officials Remind of Importance of Flood Insurance as Winter Pacific Rains Take Shape

November 3, 2004

Wet weather offers fair warning of flooding, and disaster officials are reminding homeowners that flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But do not delay. Unless people are in the process of closing on a home loan with mandated flood insurance (in which case the policy is effective the day the loan closes), there is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Director John Pennington, informed homeowners buy flood insurance. “Flooding is the leading cause of property loss due to natural disasters,” said Pennington. “Local floodplain ordinances outline common-sense construction standards like elevating and anchoring houses. Protecting floodways and restricting dangerous floodplain use incrementally reduces the amount and cost of annual flooding. It’s good stewardship.”

Flood insurance is available to residents of communities which have agreed to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices, and according to Pennington, virtually every community in the Pacific Northwest qualifies. “By aggressively managing their floodplains, our local officials guarantee property-owner access to affordable flood insurance, while reducing future flood damage. National flood insurance is all about taking action before disaster strikes.”

Flood insurance covers structural elements and contents for all residential and non-residential buildings.

Pennington did caution victims of previous floods who were required to buy flood insurance to qualify for disaster assistance not to allow their policies to lapse, or they would be disqualified from future federal assistance.

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