El Niño’s Promise of a Wet California Winter Could be Costly and Dangerous

Our nation experiences some of the most extreme and dangerous weather in the world, and this winter, California faces a particularly severe threat. Forecasts are showing a strong and peaking El Niño that could deliver drenching conditions to the state and throughout the South. These predicted conditions come with an enhanced flood threat through the spring.

Making matters worse, much of the landscape in California today is already dry and parched, due in part to historic drought and recent wildfires. This hard, packed soil, combined with vegetation loss and burn scars on the earth, can cause extensive runoff because rainwater and snowmelt won’t effectively be absorbed into the ground. The runoff could turn into destructive flash floods and mud slides, making it vitally important that people are aware and prepared for what conditions may come in the next few months and beyond.

So, while we’re beginning to see signs of relief after four long and difficult years of extreme drought, we must be prepared to respond to the hazards that increased snow and rain can present to our homes, neighborhoods, and communities. In the short term, more accurate weather forecasts, coupled with actions taken by cities and households to prepare for severe weather, could save lives, property, and build more resilient communities. In fact, research shows that those who are informed and ready when hazardous or extreme weather threatens rebound more quickly and recover more fully from disasters.

If there was ever a year for families in California to take action to prepare for severe weather and flooding, this is the year. One way to do so is by purchasing flood insurance. Flooding remains the most common and costly disaster we see in America, even in non-El Niño years. Being insured can protect homeowners financially from this common hazard. Flood —> Read More