FEMA Fact Sheet: June 10, 2022
DR-4652-NM FS 017
Flood Risks After a Wildfire Increases the Need for Flood Insurance
Residents of New Mexico are encouraged to purchase flood insurance now. Monsoon season starts mid-June and the ongoing wildfires in New Mexico are creating an additional threat that will be active for many years: the potential for flooding. Wildfires transform earth into water repellent soil. Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. But charred, barren earth is unable to absorb water, which prompts flash flooding and mudflows.
The Time to Purchase Flood Insurance is Now
Flooding is the nation’s number one natural disaster. Yet statistics indicate most people ignore the threat and fail to buy flood insurance. FEMA is committed to building a culture of preparedness throughout our nation. Insurance is the first line of defense.
There is a 30-day waiting period between purchasing a policy and the date the policy goes into effect.
Buying a Flood Insurance Policy
Ask your insurance agent about purchasing a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you don’t have a provider, visit floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider to be taken to a list of agencies offering flood insurance in New Mexico.
Premiums are based on specific characteristics that help identify the building’s unique flood risk and associated premium. Characteristics include:
- Where the property is located
- How it is built
- What is built and covered (replacement cost and coverage).
Out-of-pocket expenses after a flood include insurance deductibles, evacuation costs, lodging, food, gas, and more. Flood insurance can make all the difference when disaster strikes. Properties located in high-risk areas have at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. Payments are calculated on the value of the structure minus the depreciation at the time of the disaster.
In addition to coverage for structures, NFIP offers content coverage.
FEMA Disaster Assistance is not Insurance
FEMA assistance is not the same as insurance. Disaster assistance covers the basic needs for a home to be livable. Insurance may give additional coverage. NFIP payments are not dependent on state or federal disaster declarations.
Visit floodsmart.gov to find out your property’s flood risk and to get an estimate for your NFIP premium.
To address many of the common myths and rumors during the New Mexico wildfires, FEMA activated a rumor/myth webpage. You can access it online at fema.gov/nm-rumors.
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