Photos: Winter Rainy Season and Wildfires Heighten Risks for Flooding in Northwest: Now Is the Time To Be FloodSmart

January 12, 2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ – Heavy seasonal rain and recent wildfire damage can make for a disastrous combination. Winter Rainy Season in the Northwestern United States brings intense winter storms and the majority of annual precipitation to the region. In addition, widespread wildfires this past year have burned more than 1.6 million acres of land in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Wildfires leave the ground charred, barren and unable to absorb water. This substantially increases the risk for severe flooding and mudflow.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/floodsmart/36589/

The coming months have the potential to bring both heavy rain and snowmelt which, coupled with wildfire damage, could result in catastrophic flooding. Many residents incorrectly believe that homeowners insurance covers flood damage. Only flood insurance protects properties from post-wildfire flooding and mudflow damage. Despite heightened risks, an average of only two percent of the households in this region of the country have flood insurance coverage.

In the current financial climate, losses due to a winter rainstorm could put an especially heavy drain on savings. More than ever, it is important that residents have the financial safety net that flood insurance provides. In these challenging economic times, some risks must be properly addressed. Residents should get flood insurance now to protect their homes and businesses from seasonal flood risks — it is an option they can’t afford to pass up.

Flood insurance is available to renters, homeowners and business owners through approximately 90 insurance companies in more than 20,500 participating communities nationwide. Flood coverage can be purchased for properties both in, and outside of, the highest risk areas. Last year, a quarter of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were for policies in low- to moderate-risk areas. In these areas, lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies (PRPs) start at less than $120 a year. Individuals can learn more about flood risk and what to do about it by visiting FloodSmart.gov or by calling 1-800-427-2419.

See a preview of our winter flood season b-roll footage. To request a full broadcast quality b-roll package (beta format), contact the FloodSmart team at info@femafloodsmart.com.

SOURCE FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program

Source: newswire

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