Californian residents are urged to purchase flood insurance ahead of the El Niño event already forming in the Pacific Ocean.
FEMA is asking residents of California to purchase flood insurance as federal emergency officials predict an historic El Niño, with strong rains throughout the winter and the possibility of flash floods increasing.
Roy Wright, the deputy associate administrator with FEMA insurance and mitigation department advised Californian residents to take action against the risks posed by El Niño.
“If there was ever a time to buy flood insurance, this is the time. You cannot get it at the last minute. There’s a day 30-day wait period for a new flood insurance policies to go into effect”,
state Mr. Wright during a press conference.
Flood insurance is the best option funded by the federal government. In 1968, a law enforced this obligation as a large number of private insurance companies refused to offer insurance policies as heavy losses occurred.
For those in the high-risk areas, an insurance policy may reach 1,000 dollars per year. For people in areas less prone to floods, the insurance policy reaches at most 500 dollars per year. The minimum per year may reach 140 dollars. These areas are called ‘preferred risk’ areas with matching ‘preferred risk’ policies.
According to the press release statement, Californian residents may apply for flood risk ratings, as well as insurance quotes on the FEMA hosted website FloodSmart.gov. Californian residents are urged to purchase flood insurance, and preparations are already starting in many regions of the state. Bay Area is one such regions were storm preparations have already begun.
Recent flash floods occurring around the United States are a reminder that flood insurance is a must. To prevent the devastating effects of the stormy season, it is recommended that households are insured.
Extreme weather events such as the flash floods these weeks cause a lot of damage. The debris carried by the flood on the Interstate 5 caused long traffic blockages and stranded drivers. This year’s El Niño is expected to be stronger than the 1997-1998 El Niño. At the time, it is estimated that the damages reached 25 billion dollars.
It is also expected that this year’s El Niño will last throughout the entire winter season, according to the NOAA. Chances that it will continue into the early spring of next year are estimated at 80 percent.
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