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Be Prepared

Flooding can occur anywhere in Kittitas County, not just by rivers and streams. Floods can occur for many reasons, including excessive rain, irrigation canals and levees breeching or overtopping and ice jams. Citizens are encouraged to be prepared for floods anywhere at any time.

Some steps citizens can take to become flood ready are:

Purchase flood insurance

Everyone lives in a flood risk area and Homeowner's Insurance Policies do not cover flood related damages. A separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program must be purchased to receive flood related benefits. Flood insurance can be purchased for any property, including properties outside of FEMA's flood hazard areas. If you live outside a flood hazard area, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy which is offered at a lower rate.

Contact your homeowner's insurance agent to purchase flood insurance from the NFIP. Purchase flood insurance soon because there is a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. View this summary of coverage for more information or visit .

Know your risk

If you're not sure what the risks are for property you own or are considering buying, contact Kittitas County Public Works. County staff can provide you with your flood risk zone. Or you can view the County's mapping program COMPAS to search for a parcel address and view the flood hazard areas. You can also visit FEMA's Map Service Center ( or to determine your risk.

Floodproof your home

For information on floodproofing your home, refer to FEMA's guide Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting: Six ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding. Floodproofing includes methods such as elevating your home above flood levels and making your home water tight so floodwaters cannot enter.

Prepare your property

Do not build or store items within the floodplain unless they are properly elevated and anchored. Some items around your house, such as fuel tanks, are very buoyant and must be anchored using an approved method. HVAC systems, hot water heaters and electrical panels should be elevated above flood levels. Backflow valves should be installed on your sewer lines to prevent water and sewage from flowing into your house.

Emergency supply kit

Even if your property is not affected by the flood waters, flooding can affect you. Roads may be washed out, limiting your ability to travel. Electricity and other utilities may be out. Be prepared with an emergency supply kit. The Red Cross has a checklist of supplies that should be in your emergency supply kit.

Drainage System Maintenance

Kittitas County's drainage system consists of a combination of natural channels, irrigation ditches and roadside ditches . Maintenance to these systems is necessary or they can lose their water carrying capacity because of debris accumulation, sediment buildup or vegetation growth. Debris such as grass clipping and leaves may also obstruct the flow of water in ditches. It is important for landowners to maintain the channels and ditches that run through their property to prevent flooding. For maintenance of ditches along County roads, please call the Kittitas County Department of Public Works.