Submitted by Thurston County
This week is Flood Awareness Week in Thurston County, and county leaders are encouraging residents to prepare for winter storms that can create floods by checking their emergency kits, making plans with family members, and getting flood insurance before disaster strikes.
Residents of unincorporated Thurston County can get as much as a 40 percent discount for flood insurance for properties in special flood hazard areas, and a 10 percent discount for properties not in a special flood hazard area. Visit the county’s Flood Plans & Insurance webpage to learn more.
“We’re focusing this week on encouraging residents to get flood insurance now before storm season sets in,” said Sandy Eccker, Thurston County Emergency Management Manager. “There’s a 30-day waiting period once you make your first premium payment, so there’s no time to waste. Get your flood insurance today.”
With an average annual rainfall of 50 inches, floods are the most common natural hazard in Thurston County. There have been 18 federal disaster declarations since 1962 because of, or in part to, flooding.
Thurston County’s top-rated floodplain management programs have helped reduce flood damage and encourage property owners and residents in flood hazard areas to obtain flood insurance at a reduced price. The county completed several flood mitigation and preparedness actions, receiving a high Community Rating System score from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Emergency Management staff recommend homeowners and renters obtain national flood insurance because it is the only dependable form of financial protection against flood damage; standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from flooding, and federal disaster assistance is available only for federally declared disasters.
Another action you can take is signing up for Thurston Community Alert (TCAlert), the county’s official emergency notification system. With TCAlert, you can get alerts to your smartphone or other devices that include flood warnings, evacuation notices and instructions, or severe weather alerts. Learn more and sign up today at tcalert.org.
You can also create a Smart911 profile that gives emergency responders important information that could save your life. Adding personal information such as the number of pets in your home, emergency contacts, and your medical provider is completely voluntary. You can easily create a profile while signing up for TCAlert here.
While Thurston County is prone to flooding – especially in the fall and winter – our community is stronger and more resilient when we work together and prepare.