Floods Follow Fires: Those at Risk for Flashfloods, Mudflows are Encouraged to Buy Flood Insurance
Salem, Ore. – After a devastating season of wildfires, many Oregon property owners are now at risk for flash floods and mudflows resulting from scorched landscapes and burn scars. Wildfires destroy vegetation that supports and strengthens hillsides. Without plants to hold the earth in place, even a small amount of rain can start a mudflow. This can happen quickly and with little warning.
However, property owners don’t have to take-on all the risk themselves because mudflow coverage is part of a standard policy from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). “A flood-insurance policy with NFIP is an affordable way for residents of Oregon to protect investments in their homes, personal property and businesses,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Dolph Diemont. “Just an inch of water in the average home can cause $25,000 in damage, so having flood insurance can mean the difference between financial recovery and financial devastation.”
Mudflow is covered subject to the definition of flooding in the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). The SFIP defines mudflow as “a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water.”
Mudflows are sudden, costly and destructive. Unfortunately, the recent wildfires have increased the risk of mudflows for anyone whose home is downhill from a fire-scorched area. That increased risk lasts for several years until enough new vegetation takes root. Homeowners may think their property is safe because it has never flooded before, but after a wildfire, flash floods and mudslides aren’t limited to high-risk areas. So take
action now and protect yourself with an NFIP policy, which offers flood insurance coverage to property owners, renters and business owners.
Those at Risk of Flashfloods and Mudflows are Encouraged to Buy Flood Insurance. Coverage for homes
is $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. Non-residential (commercial) structures are eligible for maximum coverage of $500,000 on the building and $500,000 on contents. For additional information and to purchase an NFIP policy, contact your insurance agent today.
Generally, there is a 30-day waiting period before an NFIP policy becomes effective. Those at risk of flooding or mudflows are encouraged to buy flood insurance now as winter rains will soon be here. Please be advised, when rebuilding please check with local building officials and your local floodplain administrator.
For more information on NFIP insurance, call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462- 7585), or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Those who have already made a decision to buy flood insurance now, can visit www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance/buy.