For those in Skagit County who suffered loss from the recent flooding between November 5 and December 2, in 2021, you have until March 7, 2022, to file a claim. Severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides caused this damage and FEMA is offering disaster assistance. Please note that the Resource Center in Concrete will close permanently at 6 pm on February 26th.

Homeowners and renters in Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom counties, the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Quileute Tribe, and all tribes in the designated areas can apply for FEMA assistance online at FEMA Disaster Help, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, captioned telephone, or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

Disaster Recovery Centers in the following locations can help with applications and provide face-to-face information and guidance about disaster assistance:

  • Skagit County: East County Resource Center, 45770 Main St., Concrete, WA 98237 (Closes permanently at 6 p.m. Feb. 26.)
  • Whatcom County, parking lot, 1208 E. Main St., Everson, WA 98247
  • Whatcom County: Sumas A.C. Church, 125 W. Front St., Sumas, WA 98295
  • Whatcom County: Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, 2007 Cherry St., Ferndale, WA 98248

As well as damage relief there are flood relief programs available.

People living in a flood-prone area, specifically a Special Flood Hazard Area or floodway, who are receiving assistance from FEMA for a flood-damaged structure or its contents, must have and maintain flood insurance for the life of the structure to receive most types of future federal disaster assistance.

You may receive Group Flood Insurance coverage if you:

  • Suffered property damage from the November 5 through December 2, 2021, declared disaster;
  • Are approved for FEMA disaster assistance; and
  • You were denied a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration

Disaster-assistance applicants receive a minimum amount of building and/or contents coverage for a three-year policy period. A maximum coverage of $71,000 is currently provided. The premium will be part of your FEMA disaster assistance grant. You can upgrade your coverage by up to $250,00, by purchasing an individual flood insurance policy. If you choose to purchase an individual policy, your Group Flood Insurance will be canceled.

Renters will also receive Group Flood Insurance if they intend to return to their rental property. However, they must first notify FEMA of their intent to return by submitting a written statement or calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. A renter policy is not transferable to subsequent renters at the same address and does not travel with the renter to any new address.

The Flood Insurance Administration sends each eligible FEMA assistance recipient a Certificate of Flood Insurance as proof of flood-insurance coverage. Before the 36-month term concludes, those affected must buy individual flood insurance coverage or they will not be eligible for most types of federal assistance in a future flood event.

Approximately 60 days before the expiration of the three-year GFIP term, a third and final notice will be sent to certificate holders as a reminder to buy standard flood insurance. The notice also will advise recipients of the amount of coverage they must maintain to avoid risking their eligibility for future flood disaster assistance.

For more information regarding the Group Flood Insurance program or flood insurance in general, call 800-638-6620 (Option #2) or go online to floodsmart.gov.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses, and nonprofits may be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other sources. March 7, 2022 is the deadline to apply. Call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information.

Marcee Maylin has a degree in Editorial Journalism from the University of Washington and 30+ years media experience. She is currently the Editor of the Everett Post dedicated to providing current, relevant, and entertaining content for the local community.