(Washington D.C., Tuesday, December 3, 2019) – In the aftermath of wildfires, local California communities face a higher risk of flash flooding for up to several years due to changes in the terrain caused by fires. Even areas that are not traditionally flood-prone are at risk of flooding for years because fire chars the ground to the point where it cannot absorb water.

During this year’s rainy season, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are warning residents living in and nearby wildfire burn areas about the high risk of flash flooding and mudflows and urging them to protect the life they’ve built with flood insurance.

Whether it’s a major flood or just an inch of water, flood insurance helps cover the cost of flood damage. An inch of water is enough to cause more than $25,000 in damage.

Insured residents are able to recover quicker and more fully from a flood than their uninsured neighbors. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. If you wait to purchase a policy until after a flood event begins, your property won’t be protected from the damage caused by that flood event.

Background:

  • Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect;
  • If you wait to purchase a policy until after a flood event begins, your property won’t be protected from the damage caused by that flood event; and
  • Visit FloodSmart.gov or call 800-427-2419 to learn more about flood risk and to find an agent in your area.

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