Get ready, El Niño is back.  The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says continued heating in the Pacific Ocean means a strong event this fall and winter. Wind conditions and several tropical cyclones are indications of an intensifying effect which could lead to one of the strongest El Niño’s in a long time.

NOAA and other climate watchers say while every El Niño is different, these are some general things we can expect:

  • Cooler, wetter weather in the southern U.S. with possible heavy storms and flooding
  • Wetter weather for Southern and Central California with intense rain and possible flooding and mudslides
  • Drier, warmer weather in the Pacific Northwest and Central U.S.
  • Slightly warmer weather in the Rocky Mountain Region, but with strong snow storms and blizzards (some of the biggest blizzards have come during past El Niño years)
  • Warmer and drier on the East Coast
  • Less Atlantic hurricanes but more Pacific cyclones and hurricanes

Here are some tips before the wild weather blows in:

  • Make sure your vehicles have comprehensive coverage for damage from weather, flooding, mudslides, falling objects (rocks and trees), etc.
  • Check your auto’s tires to make sure they will provide traction in rainy, icy or snowy weather
  • Inspect the roof of your home to make sure it’s ready for the onslaught of heavy rain, snow or ice
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts channel water away from your home
  • Trim branches and trees that could blow onto your roof or home in a heavy storm

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that over the past five years, damage from wind and storms has been the number one cause of damage claims to homes, with the average payment just under $8,800. Before El Niño takes aim at your home, they recommend you:

  • Review your insurance to make sure you are covered for storm loss
  • Purchase flood insurance (which is not included with most homeowners insurance) if you live in a flood prone area
  • Talk with your insurance company to make sure you have the adequate limits and deductibles
  • Take an inventory of all the possessions you own

No matter the weather, California Casualty is ready to help with your storm insurance preparations. Contact an advisor today for a policy review or comparison at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.


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