by Patrick Ramsay
You’re familiar with the saying “When it rains it pours,” but there’s a new saying being passed along California: “When Godzilla El Niño rains, it floods.” Though California has been in the midst of a drought for four years, there is no time more vital than now to protect your home with flood insurance. For most California homeowners, floods don’t rank among their highest concerns. Scientists are expecting this year’s El Niño weather cycle to be incredibly strong, potentially even surpassing the El Niño weather cycle of 1997, which was the strongest on record according to the National Weather Service.
In high-risk flood areas, there is a one in four chance that someone with a 30-year mortgage will experience flooding. Even homeowners in medium-to-low risk areas can be financially vulnerable to flooding. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), people outside of mapped high-risk areas file over 20-percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding. FEMA also emphasizes that flooding can occur anywhere that it rains. No matter where you live, a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Just like every other type of insurance, it is vital to understand what is and isn’t covered. From the insured building and its foundation to furs, artwork, and curtains, flood insurance will provide coverage. For a full list of what’s covered by flood insurance, click the following link: www.floodsmart.gov/whats_covered.
Be proactive about protecting your family, your home, and your belongings. There is typically a 30-day waiting period from the date of your purchase before your policy will go into effect, so do not wait to get coverage. Contact insureCAL today to learn more about their flood insurance programs before it’s too late.
By Patrick Ramsay
The infamous weather pattern, El Niño, meaning “the child” in Spanish, first got its name because it was discovered on Christmas. This year, El Niño is bringing a much needed gift to Californians: rain. We aren’t talking about a light drizzle either, we’re talking about a weather pattern so epic, it has earned the title “Godzilla.” Essentially, it is the slight warming of the Pacific Ocean causing a change in the weather patterns every few years. A powerful El Niño is described by a 1.5 degree Celsius change, but this year we were seeing temperatures in the Pacific already 3 degrees C above normal by September.
California has been suffering from a drought for the last four years and will be the greatest beneficiary of this year’s El Niño. We’re already seeing signs of relief from the drought in the Sierra Nevada snowpack. Roughly 30 percent of California’s water supply comes from the runoff of this snowpack. During the first manual survey of the winter snowpack, officials with the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources (DWR) say it’s currently at 136 percent of normal. Around the same time last year, the snowpack was only at 45 percent of the historical average, so officials with the DWR are saying it’s a very promising sign.
1997 El Niño Twins
According to NASA, this year’s El Niño bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the powerful 1997 El Niño, and it’s continuing to grow. Forecasters expect California to start seeing the effects of Godzilla El Niño in early 2016. Bill Patzert, Climatologist for Jet Propulsion Laboratories, said “Reservoir levels have fallen to record or near-record lows, while groundwater tables have dropped dangerously in many areas. Now we’re preparing to see the flip side of nature’s water cycle — the arrival of steady, heavy rains and snowfall.”
Side Effects of Godzilla El Niño
In 1997, the strong El Niño brought twice the average amount of rainfall to Southern California. While the El Niño weather cycle brings watery relief to the drought-stricken state of California, it has also been known to bring mudslides, floods, high winds, lightning strikes and high surfs along with it. How are you preparing for Godzilla El Niño’s intensity?