It is time to buy flood insurance, if you don’t already have it. Available to everyone, businesses, homeowners and renters alike, it is the only insurance that will help you recover from flooding and mudflows.
Citing a strong El Niño and other factors, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts wetter than average conditions for central and southern California, along with warmer than normal temperatures from December through February. There is a 30-day waiting period between purchasing flood insurance and the time the insurance goes into effect.
Residents living in the vicinity of the recent wildfires are especially vulnerable to runoff flooding this rainy season because wildfires dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions.
Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. But wildfires leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water. That enhances the chances of flash flooding and mudflows. Flood insurance covers mudflows, but not mudslides.
Just because your property is outside a high flood risk zone doesn’t mean there is no risk. But it does mean you can buy flood insurance at a lower price, because the risk is lower.
Information about flood insurance is available at the Disaster Recovery Centers in Lake and Calaveras counties: 891 Mountain Ranch Rd., San Andreas; Middletown Senior Center, 21256 Washington St., Middletown, and 14860 Olympic Dr., Clear Lake.
Flood insurance is for everyone, not just survivors of the wildfires. It is easy to find out how much flood insurance will cost by going to FloodSmart.gov. Fill in the blanks in the red box on the right side of the screen, “How Can I Get Covered”. You will be taken to a table of flood insurance options and costs for your address. Contact information for local agents is available on the website.
Survivors can apply for FEMA assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362; TTY 800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. The deadline to register is Nov. 23, 2015.
For more information on California’s wildfire recovery, visit: caloes.ca.gov, Twitter@Cal-OES Facebook.com/CaliforniaOES or FEMA.gov/disaster/4240 and follow us on Twitter@femaregion9 and at Facebook.com/FEMA.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
Official information blog for the Lake County Office of Emergency Services