King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Flood Control District Chair Reagan Dunn have declared October as Flood Awareness Month.

In King County, flood season typically begins in the fall, and has led to 12 presidentially declared disasters since 1990. So now is the time to prepare.

Before flooding:

  • Know if you live in an area that flooding is possible or likely. You can get more information at or by calling 1-888-379-9531
  • Consider purchasing flood insurance. Many standard polices do not cover flooding. Also, polices may take 30 days to process, so start early.
  • Have a plan in place. This includes escape routes, contact information, meeting place, and having an emergency kit ready to go.

During flooding:

  • Never wade or drive through standing water. “Turn around – don’t drown.”
  • If your vehicle stalls in a flood, get out quickly and walk back the way you came.
  • Call the flood warning center before leaving at 206-296-8200/1-800-945-9263.
  • People living in flood-prone areas should be ready to evacuate on short notice.
  • Call 911 if ordered to evacuate, but are unable to due to water levels.

After flooding:

  • Assess buildings for structural damage before entering them.
  • Look for electrical shorts and gas leaks before entering.
  • Have professionals check major systems before reusing them, such as your furnace.
  • Document your losses and contact your insurance agent for claims.
  • Get updates for upcoming weather conditions.

Go to for additional information:

  • Get the King County flood app
  • Sign up for flood alerts
  • Real-time maps on flooding

    [Source: Captain Kyle Ohashi, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority]

Michelle Gehlman-Teeter

Michelle Gehlman-Teeter is a writer and photographer from Kent, Washington. Michelle is a contributor to She loves to find interesting places to go and fun things to do and share them with her readers. Click links to see her writing, photography or Facebook page.