Preparing for disaster: Where wildfires end, floods begin

It’s been a tough summer. Scorching temperatures and severe droughts have caused all sorts of problems across the United States, particularly here in Utah.

Although flooding is probably the last thing on your mind right now,  it’s a real danger. Wildfires can reshape  landscapes, burning away trees and shrubs that once prevented summer storms from turning into flash floods. It can also leave the soil looking like burned-toast, making it less absorbent to water and more prone to flooding.

So what should you do? Prepare.

Here are some excellent tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will keep you safe during a flash flood, and to protect your pocketbook from the costs that inevitably come with rising waters.

  • Plan Ahead: Make a plan on where you’ll go during a flash flood. Make sure you know two evacuation routes in case one is cut off.
  • Know What You Own: Before a flood, conduct a home inventory. Create a itemized list of your possessions, preferably with photographs, so you can document your belongings for insurance purposes. Keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place.
  • Get Ready: Gather supplies that you might need during a storm. This might include food, clothes and important documents that would come in handy during an evacuation. You also should look at ways to strengthen, or safeguard, your home from damage.
  • Get Insured: Only flood insurance covers flood damage. Most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. However, flood insurance is affordable. An average flood policy costs around $600 a year, and rates start at just $129 a year for homes in moderate- to low-risk areas. To learn about flood risks in your area and for information on flood insurance, visit

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call. In the meantime, here’s a link to FEMA’s complete blog.

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