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Plan for disaster before it strikes

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The monsoon officially kicks off this week! While most of Arizona is in severe drought, the monsoon can also bring destruction.

"Flash flooding, we also have micro-bursts, dry micro-bursts. But flash flooding is definitely one of the big ones but because of the bighorn fire we could also be dealing with some mudslides too, over the burn scar area," said News 4 Tucson Meteorologist Shea Sorenson.

Last summer, the Bighorn Fire tore through the Catalinas, forcing man and beast to evacuate. The burn scar now leaving that area vulnerable to landslides and flooding like we saw last year in the CDO Wash.

Sorenson said one thing you can do to stay safe is monitor weather forecasts. "If you know it's a particularly stormy day, an active day have an alternate rouge planned so you don't have to worry about flash flooding."

You should also know what's covered in your homeowner or renter's policies.

"Fire, smoke, lightning strikes, hail explosion, those are your typical hazards that will be covered under your typical hazards that will typically be covered under your typical homeowner's insurance policy," Ursa Ames, Underwriter and Sales Manager with Personal Express Insurance said.

"Outside flooding is included in the standard homeowner's policy, and it's recommended that homeowners understand where their house is located," said James McGuffin, with the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. "Is it prone to flooding? Is it in a flood zone that has been designated by a city or a county? And if it is, they would probably want to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy, " McGuffin said.

Both McGuffin and Ames said it's important to know what is in your policy, go over it point by point with your agent. If there is anything you want to be covered, don't assume it is. Take pictures and send them to your agent.

You should also be prepared to meet your deductible. Ames said the standard deductible is around $1000, but she has seen deductibles as high as $5000.

Of course, the most important things are not replaceable.

"Just get those people out safe, and the property, you can work out later and replace if you have to," Ames said.

You can also sign up for emergency alerts through Pima County.

Shelle Jackson

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