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FEMA Advises California Residents to Purchase Flood Insurance

El Nino waves at the beach to illustrate the importance of flood insuranceLast week I asked are you ready for El Niño and shared information on how homeowners can prepare for the drenching rains anticipated to begin in a little over a month from now. Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times published an article stating that FEMA is advising California residents to purchase 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.

FEMA is urging people to prepare immediately by getting flood insurance before the rain hits like it did New Year’s Day 2006. Regular homeowner’s insurance will not cover flooding. According to FEMA, just a couple of inches of water can do thousands of dollars in damage to a home.
Last year, the average premium for a flood insurance policy cost $700 spread out over the year — that’s a little more than $58 a month. Call the National Flood Insurance Program to speak directly with Insurance Experts at the FEMA Help Center:  1-888-379-9531.

You can also find information on Santa Barbara city flood zones at the City of Santa Barbara website. There you will find reference maps to determine the flood risk for your property as well as find flood hazard and insurance contact information or to see how flood-prone your area is, check out floodsmart.gov.

If you weren’t motivated to prepare for El Niño after reading my blog last week, I hope you consider FEMA’s advice to purchase flood insurance. The coming storms will not stop me from finding your dream home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities. Just call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.

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