Get Flood Insurance Now, Emergency Managers Warn

Oct 2, 2018, 8:15 PM | Updated: 9:21 pm

PAYSON, Utah – Residents living downhill from wildfire burn scars have been urged to get flood insurance, even if they think it may be too late to do so.

Only 3 percent of Utahns have flood insurance, despite the fact that officials with the state Division of Emergency Management recommends all homeowners get it.

Sam Blundell volunteered to fill sandbags Tuesday, just in case of heavy rains.

“I have two window wells that get filled up with water every time it rains really hard,” Blundell said.

Like the vast majority of Utahns, he has never considered getting flood insurance.

“I have not had flood insurance,” Blundell said. “I have earthquake insurance. We live on the fault line, so I bought earthquake, but not flood.”

Similar to the fault line, homeowners don’t have to live on the flood line to be at risk. In fact, Utah’s risk map program manager for the Division of Emergency Management, Jamie Huff, said it can be hard to determine how much risk your home may face.

“Unfortunately for most of our state, the flood risk is not mapped,” Huff said.

People living under recent burn scars in Utah County have been especially encouraged to get flood insurance right away. While a new policy wouldn’t usually cover an event during the initial waiting period, Huff said exceptions are being made for some of those areas.

“FEMA can provide an exception from that 30 day waiting period,” Huff said. “But they need to sign up now to purchase that insurance before an event occurs.”

Huff said flood insurance policies are usually inexpensive, and even more so for homeowners who don’t live on the flood plain. Homeowners can get started by contacting their insurance company, or going to www.floodsmart.gov.

“Flood insurance is your best line of defense,” Huff said. “This is just one storm. We have a whole long season to go.”

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Get Flood Insurance Now, Emergency Managers Warn