Over the last few weeks, powerful rain storms have made their way to Southern California as a result of El Niño.
The warming pattern that sends precipitation from the Pacific Ocean across North America is effecting dramatic changes in weather patterns worldwide. According to CBS News, El Niño-driven storms have hit much of California’s coastline, flooding roadways and even causing mudslides throughout the Los Angeles area.
For drought-stricken Californians, all this excess rain is probably a welcome sight. But what many in Los Angeles don’t know is the devastating toll that El Niño-related floods can have on one’s home, especially if that home has a basement.
That’s why it’s imperative for every Los Angeles homeowner to thoroughly clean up any basement water leaks and floods within 24 to 48 hours. Doing so will preserve your belongings, protect your home’s structural integrity and prevent mold from growing within your home.
Additionally, now is the time to consider your options for flood insurance, according to the LA Times. Many people don’t realize that damage caused by flooding isn’t covered under one’s homeowner’s insurance policy, meaning a separate flood insurance plan is needed. These policies can be purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The average person has a very simplistic understanding of insurance: I either have it or I don’t,” Amy Bach, executive director of consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, explained. “If you’ve never had a serious loss, chances are you really have no idea what you’re covered for.”
El Niño has also posed a threat to those who don’t own a home. Los Angeles County authorities have been working to relocate homeless people away from low-lying areas like the Los Angeles River. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is providing shuttles to homeless shelters with room for as many as 6,000 people.
But sadly, for those hoping for a silver lining to all these rain clouds, this month’s rains won’t be enough to replenish lost water supplies after four years of drought, Newsday.com reported.