FEMA Advises Texas Wildfire Survivors to Consider Flood Insurance

While flood insurance is typically not a common concern for homeowners facing the threat of wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recommended some Texas residents add this type of coverage on their to-do list. Hazard mitigation specialists with the agency say that unexpected water-related risks come with Texas wildfires, elevating the need to purchase this additional coverage.

Texas Wildfires Elevate Risk of Water Damage

When homeowners think of a need for flood insurance, they typically assume they must live in a high-risk area near massive bodies of water like large lakes, rivers or oceans. However, according to FEMA, homeowners living in areas prone to wildfires face a similar risk when it comes to water damage.

Specialists with FEMA recently announced that the flood risk is higher for wildfire survivors as a direct consequence of burned away trees and healthy roots that would normally soak up rainwater. With thousands of acres stripped of this important vegetation, storm runoff can now cause erosion, mudslides and flooding.

Properties Burned or Below Scorched Areas at Highest Risk

While the homes at greatest risk of wildfire-related flooding are those that were previously burned in blazes, FEMA explained that all homes downstream or below scorched areas have an increased risk of water issues.

To protect homes and other properties from issues that could arise from wildfire-related flooding, the agency advises property owners and renters to purchase a flood insurance policy that could safeguard their homes and belongings from flood losses since standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover these issues.

It is important to note, however, that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) writes the policies—not the private insurers— resulting in coverage typically becoming effective 30 days after the premium is paid. This means, if you are considering flood insurance in the near future, now is the time to begin searching for a company in your area that administers the coverage.