CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Winter brings more than just cold temperatures in Nevada. It also brings increased flood risks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nevada Division of Emergency Management advise the residents of Northern Nevada to get prepared - well ahead of rising waters.
"Recovering after a flood is overwhelming. Flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) enables residents affected by flooding to recover more quickly with financial assistance," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Karl. "Flood damage is not covered by a typical homeowners or business insurance policy."
Flood insurance must be purchased separately and is available through the NFIP by contacting an insurance agent. There is a 30-day waiting period before a policy becomes effective.
After last summer's wildfires, the charred and bare ground does not easily absorb water. This increases the chance of floods and mudslides. "With a wet winter season, Nevada is at a greater risk of flooding due to the wildfires that occurred this past summer and fall. Nevadans will be better prepared by looking into flood insurance for their homes and businesses," said State Coordinating Officer Frank Siracusa, chief of the Nevada Division of Emergency Management.
FEMA offers the following tips to prepare for flooding:
Before a Flood
- Have a safety kit with drinking water, a first-aid kit, canned food, radio, flashlight and blankets;
- Know safe routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground; and
- Most homeowners and business insurance does not cover flooding. Contact your insurance agent to be sure that your flood insurance policy is up to date.
During a Flood
- If flooding occurs, get out of the area. Move to higher ground if you are located near dips, low spots, valleys, canyons, rivers, lakes, etc.;
- Avoid flooded areas, especially if the water is flowing fast. Never attempt to cross flowing water; and
- Roadbeds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle is caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
After a Flood
- Do not turn the electricity back on in your home or business if you detect gas or if the electrical system has been flooded;
- Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by floodwaters or mudflow and throw out food; and
- Follow directions from local officials regarding the safety of drinking water.
Flood insurance is available through approximately 90 insurance companies and in more than 20,300 participating communities nationwide. Everyone can purchase flood insurance - renters, business owners, and homeowners. The average flood insurance policy is around $500 a year and in low-to-moderate-risk areas, lower-cost Preferred Risk Policies start at just $112 a year.
Learn more about purchasing flood insurance and the risks of flooding by visiting www.FloodSmart.gov or by calling 1-800-427-2419.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.