Wildfires increase risk of floods
FEMA News Release
Oct 27th, 2022, FEMA News Desk (425) 487-4610
Purchase Flood Insurance to Protect What You’ve Built
BOTHELL, Wash. – If you do not carry National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance, now is the time to buy it. Wildfire season is slowing down, and once the fires are out, people and communities are at risk for another threat, flooding. Wildfires leave the ground charred and unable to absorb water. This creates a flash flooding potential for years to come, even in areas that rarely experienced flooding in the past. Sometimes these flash floods can pick up ash and large debris, turning into mudflows that are highly destructive.
Unlike many causes of damage, flooding and mudflows are generally not covered by a homeowners’ policy. An uninsured flood loss can eat into your life’s savings. Floods are the most common and expensive natural disaster in the U.S. Just an inch of water in an average-sized home can cause $25,000 in damage. A NFIP policy protects against such losses and can ensure that a flood doesn’t bring financial ruin.
Flood insurance is easy to get, the only requirement is that you live in an NFIP participating community. These include cities, counties and other jurisdictions that manage development. You don’t need to live in a floodplain to purchase a policy. If you live outside a floodplain, insurance will likely cost less than for those living in a higher risk area.
Buyers should be aware of the 30-day waiting period for an NFIP policy to go into effect. It is important to purchase a policy now to protect your property against the continuing threat of flooding. You can usually purchase flood insurance from your current agent. If that isn’t possible, NFIP representatives can help you find one.
As with any insurance, be sure to talk with your agent about the specifics of your policy. Find out more about your risk and flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov. To purchase flood insurance or find an agent, call 1-800-427-4661.
Brett Holt, Private Sector Liaison | External Affairs Division | Region 10
Did you practice your drop-cover-hold skills in last week's Shake Out earthquake drill? That’s a great survival strategy to use during an earthquake in many homes and seismically stable structures. In other less stable structures around Portland, it may be safer to evacuate. Check out this PBS report to learn why.”
Did you practice your drop-cover-hold skills during the International Shake Out Earthquake Drill? My family did and as usual, we had fun and learned lessons.
In our practice, we follow the drill suggestions on the Oregon Shake Out website. On 10/20/22, at 10:20 am, we started the drill. We dropped to the floor, found the nearest place to cover ourselves (in our case, under our kitchen table), and then held on for a few minutes, as if waiting out a major shake. (You can practice this drill at any time.) While we waited, we looked around and imaged how an earthquake might create damage and hazards: what could drop off counters and shelves and off the walls. Making notes of these observations will help us better secure our house for a future earthquake.
After a few minutes (in a real earthquake, after the shaking stops), we practice our neighborhood ready drill, which includes going through the 9 steps to take after the disaster for an earthquake. I keep the list of the 9 steps in my under-bed-kit and also on the refrigerator to make it easy to find.
Preparing with neighbors makes you more resilient and increases everyone's chances of survival. Once you have taken care of your family, secured your house, its time to make sure that your neighbors are ok and secure the neighborhood. They will do the same for you, assuming your have met with them ahead of time in a Neighborhood Ready! meeting. (Hint, hint!) After an earthquake, you assemble at a predetermined place, form teams to check to make sure everybody is OK, check everybody's gas meters, and shut the gas meters off, if there is evidence of a leak.
Here's what we learned during our 2022 drill:
Lessons learned during our home check:
Karen Ronning-Hall, Disaster Preparedness Evangelist, living in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with hubby Bill, daughter Geneva, Bean dog, Thumper kitty, and Terry the turtle.
On Saturday, Oct 8th, at the Beaverton Library, Cedar Hills Ready! and QuakeUp! volunteers participated in the Beaverton Emergency Preparedness Fair hosted by Sexton Mountain, Highland, and West Beaverton Neighborhood Association Committees (NACs). We helped over 600 neighbors with information and tips on how to get prepared. Our volunteers set up five booths covering the following topics: water resiliency, go bags, home utilities in an emergency, organizing preparedness supplies in apartments and small spaces, and preparing community caches in a barrel. We thank our volunteers, Beaverton NACs volunteers, and the City of Beaverton who made this event a success!
If you missed the fair, you can find information on the topics we covered on this website.
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