Flooding is the number 1 natural disaster affecting Americans. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to address losses from flooding. The program requires those who live in flood hazard areas to purchase insurance for flooding.
- If your house is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
- Homeowners insurance does not cover flood losses
- If you live in a 100 year floodplain, the chance of your home being damaged by a flood is 26% over the lifespan of your mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of being damaged by fire.
- A 100 year flood has a 1% chance of occurring every year.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if construction changes natural runoff patterns.
- Federal Disaster Assistance usually comes in the form of a loan that must be paid off.
The Mitigation Directorate, a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), manages the National Flood Insurance Program. All flood insurance for residences, regardless of insurance agent, is provided by the NFIP. The three components of the NFIP are:
- Flood Insurance
- Floodplain Management
- Flood Hazard Mapping
More Information Is Available
Property owners should be fully aware of their flood risk and the current status of flood maps in their community. They can contact their local floodplain management or building officials to learn the status of local flood maps, or can obtain a copy of the current map.
Purchasing or Accessing Your Flood Insurance
Home and business owners who do not have flood insurance should contact their insurance agent to find out more about obtaining flood insurance or visit the FloodSmart website. The flood insurance is provided by NFIP.
Accessing your policy for flood damages is done through your agent and does not require a local jurisdiction declaration of an emergency. You do not have to be in a 100 year flood zone to obtain flood insurance, which also includes flooding from non-riverine sources; such as municipal pipe breaks. County staff can assist in clarifying eligibility.
Community Rating System
The Community Rating System awards communities that voluntarily take steps beyond the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program to reduce flood risks and increase the effectiveness of flood insurance protection.
Yakima County's volunteer actions include flood preparedness, flood damage reduction, mapping and regulations, and public awareness. Our Community Rating is an 8, which results in a 10% savings on flood insurance for property owners in a Special Flood Hazard Area within the unincorporated areas in Yakima County.