“El Nino is Spanish for, The Nino.”

While Chris Farley consistently provided the most hilarious sketches, the devastation caused by the California El Nino storm were very severe.  El Nino of 1997-98 was California’s wettest winter on record.  Up to seven inches of rain would fall in a single day, roads were washed away, along with beautiful homes that were completely submerged.  The damage caused by El Nino cost California more than $400 million! Climate models now suggest that the coming El Nino of 2015/2016 may even surpass El Nino 97/98.  With a decade of drought and wild fires most would look forward in anticipation for so much rainfall, however these conditions have left our landscape ill-prepared for torrential downpours.  Since mother nature is unpredictable it is imperative we prepare now for such conditions.

According to Olivia Humilde, FEMA’s Mitigation Outreach Specialist, “Flooding is the most expensive natural disaster in the United States.”  Most residents who live in homes near the beach are aware of their flood risks and therefore are more prepared for a flood and most likely already have flood insurance.  If you live in a wildfire, or canyon area the land is less able to absorb water.  In addition most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.  If your home may be at risk for floods you need to look over your homeowners’ and even renters insurance policies and then contact your broker about getting flood insurance.

Even more important than insuring your home is preparing your family for an emergency situation.  Do you have 72 hour kits, food storage, water, first aid kits, etc?

“Humilde advises families to put together a disaster supply kit and to practice a family communication plan. A basic disaster supply kit should include:

  • a battery powered hand crank radio to listen to evacuation routes,
  • a flashlight,
  • batteries,
  • a first aid kit,
  • a whistle,
  • water,
  • canned food and can opener,
  • a cell phone with external chargers or solar powered chargers from stores such as REI, prescription medications,
  • eye glasses,
  • formula and diapers for babies,
  • and pet food and water for animals.”

In a state of emergency, especially when family members will most likely be in separate locations, a communication plan is essential.  Families should designate an individual to be their fist point of contact, as well as a meeting place.  Social media can also be very helpful in an emergency and may offer a great avenue of communication with family and the community.

While Professional Choice Insurance always hopes for the best in each situation, we do know the value of always being prepared.  Call us today for a free insurance quote and we would love to discuss additional ways we can all prepare our homes and families for an emergency.