OR - Flood Insurance Now Available Through FEMA
With a record-breaking wildfire season finally behind the Rogue Valley, mother nature’s newest threat comes in the form of floods and mudflows out of the burn scars left behind in a fire’s wake.
That’s why FEMA is offering Flood Insurance to wildfire-affected residents in Southern Oregon through its National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP.
“After a wildfire, there is no steady land, there is no vegetation anymore. There are no plants. Especially with that kind of acreage, it's going to take a while. We'll not have vegetation for a while,” said FEMA spokesperson Jassiel Olivero Melo.
During normal conditions, that vegetation helps absorb rainwater. Without it, burned vegetation and charred soil form a water repellant layer, which causes rainfall to bounce off. A higher degree of land slope can also accelerate flood risk. Properties located below or downstream of burned areas are at the highest risk of flooding.
“So, what's going to happen? You're going to have a flood. You're going to have losses in your home. We are trying to encourage property owners to avoid those risks because instead of saving money, they're gonna spend more,” Olivero Melo said.
To purchase flood insurance from FEMA, go to FloodSmart.gov/find or call 877-336-2627. Beyond the physical damage that flooding in property brings, there are also additional threats brought on by mudflows.