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Barb Graff, Director



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Insider Information: How Insurance Companies Measure Risk

Have You Ever Considered Flood Insurance?

Do you remember the urban flooding in the 2006 and 2007 winter storms? Now is the time for Seattle homeowners, renters and business owners to consider buying flood insurance to protect their property from the wet winter weather.

Flooding can affect any of us, even if we don't live in a flood plain. Without some pre-planning, recovery can be expensive. Typical homeowners and rental insurance policies don't cover flood damage, and FEMA disaster assistance is normally limited to low-interest loans. Flood insurance offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can be a cost-effective way to buy some additional protection. Policies for low-to-moderate risk areas may be more affordable than you think.

For more details, see the Washington State Emergency Management Division News Release (MS Word format), or go directly to

Donations encouraged, and cash works best

A great way to help disaster victims is through a financial contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which allows the Red Cross to provide immediate emergency assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters each year, such as the current flooding in Washington. Disaster victims need essential assistance right away, such as shelter, water, food, and mental health counseling.

The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is the resource that allows the Red Cross to respond to anyone with disaster-caused needs, whenever and wherever a disaster occurs. American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate funds to a specific disaster, please indicate so when making your donation. Internet users can make a secure online donation by visiting You may also call 1-800-RED-CROSS OR 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish).

National Emergency Housing Strategy Released

The National Disaster Housing Strategy (the Strategy) serves two purposes. First, it describes how we as a Nation currently provide housing to those affected by disasters. It summarizes, for the first time in a single document, the many sheltering and housing efforts we have in the United States and the broad array of organizations that are involved in managing these programs. The Strategy also outlines the key principles and policies that guide the disaster housing process.

Second, and more importantly, the Strategy charts the new direction that our disaster housing efforts must take if we are to better meet the emergent needs of disaster victims and communities. Today we face a wider range of hazards and potentially catastrophic events than we have ever faced before. These include terrorist attacks and major natural disasters that could destroy large sections of the Nation's infrastructure. This new direction must address the disaster housing implications of all these risks and hazards and, at the same time, guide development of essential, baseline capabilities to overcome existing limitations. The new direction for disaster housing must leverage emerging technologies and new approaches in building design to provide an array of housing options. It must also be cost effective and draw on lessons learned and best practices. Above all, this new direction must institutionalize genuine collaboration and cooperation among the various local, State, tribal, and Federal partners, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to meet the needs of all disaster victims.

During an emergency, go to for the latest information.

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