FEMA urges Californians to buy flood insurance before El Niño

With drenching El Niño rains anticipated to begin more than a month from now, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging Californians to buy flood insurance, even if they live in areas of low to moderate risk.

“If there was ever a time to buy flood insurance, this is the time,” said Roy Wright, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation.

“You cannot get it at the last minute. There’s a 30-day wait period for new flood insurance policies to go into effect,” Wright told reporters at a Friday press conference.

Traditionally, only one-third to one-half of U.S. residents who live in flood risk areas are covered by flood insurance, according to Wright. Most standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage.

Californians can obtain information on flood insurance, as well as rate their flood risk, by going to the website FloodSmart.gov.

Earlier this month, Antelope Valley and Lake Hughes residents got a foretaste of the potential havoc El Niño could wreak this winter when heavy rains caused mudslides to bury cars and trucks along Interstate 5 and the 58 Freeway.

Article written by Monte Morin of L.A. Times

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