The city of Sultan is hosting a valley-wide informational seminar in an effort to help citizens learn how they may be able to save money on their flood insurance premiums.
The meeting, which will be held at Sultan City Hall at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, will include representatives from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the land surveying firm Harmsen & Associates Inc., and two representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The meeting will provide information on FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, flood plain and flood risk management, flood insurance, and how Sultan’s participation in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) can translate into flood insurance premium savings.
The meeting is being coordinated by Sultan City Receptionist and Permit Assistant Cyd Donk.
“If you have questions about flood insurance and why you need it, and how to reduce your costs, come to this meeting,” said Donk.
The meeting comes on the heels of Sultan’s recent achievement in obtaining a lower CRS designation, which enables the citizens of Sultan to be eligible to receive a 20 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums.
The rating system takes into consideration local efforts to assist in decreasing flood loss potential such as maintaining open space in critical flood plain areas; elevating new buildings beyond minimum levels; accurate mapping of flood-prone areas and adequate storm water management programs. The rating system is based on a scale of one through 10, with the lower numbers equating a larger discount.
Due to an effort largely initiated by Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick, Sultan recently achieved a designation of Class 7, which directly translates into a 20 percent discount for flood insurance policyholders.
Donk decided to organize the meeting after discovering that citizens as well as homeowners insurance agents didn’t understand the significance of the CRS designation or how to obtain the discounts.
“We want insurance people to come because a lot of them don’t know,” said Donk.
FEMA Floodplain Management Specialist Karen Wood-McGuiness will be in attendance, along with FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program Regional Manager Kristin Minich.
Minich has several levels of emergency management expertise and will help to provide an education on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), explaining the program’s fundamental principles and concepts.
Wood-McGuiness has been with FEMA since 2008 and has extensive experience in floodplain hazard planning and management, flood reduction planning and watershed restoration stewardship. Prior to her employment with FEMA, she worked as a Community Rating System Coordinator in Snohomish County. In addition to talking about floodplains and flood risk, Wood-McGuiness also plans to discuss the NFIP, flood plain management, flood insurance and flood hazard identification.
Department of Ecology Regional Floodplain Specialist David Radabaugh will be on hand to provide further insight into floodplain management planning. Radabaugh’s position entails providing technical support for the NFIP.
Finally, Principal Surveyor James McDaniel from Harmsen & Associates will discuss the importance of the Elevation Certificate, a complex document which includes technical information from which a homeowner’s flood insurance rates will be determined. The Elevation Certificate is an essential part of the flood insurance process.
McDaniel will outline and define a land surveyor’s role in the process of obtaining flood insurance. McDaniel, who graduated from Sultan High School in 1969, has comprehensive knowledge of the valley. His surveying experience includes Elevation Certificates, topographic mapping, property surveys and residential subdivisions, with an emphasis on flood plain issues.
The informational meeting is free of charge and all valley residents who reside in a flood zone are welcome to attend, along with insurance specialists who would like to receive an education on the CRS and what the designation might mean for their clients.
“I’m trying to target from Monroe to Index,” said Donk.
Sultan City Hall is located at 319 Main St. in Sultan, and the meeting will take place in the meeting room directly across from the Sultan Library.
For any questions about the meeting, contact Cyd Donk at (360) 793-2231.