The Blog

El Nino Preparedness 2015

KK RainToday there’s a light but cold rain in San Diego and lots and lots of wind. As I look out a balcony, a table cloth of mine is blowing. As I look downstairs on the patio, a wind chime blew down and several other garden ornaments, heavy ones, blew around. Up and down it’s a mess at my house and just because of wind, not water.

Clearly I am not El Nino 2015 ready. Maybe the same applies to you.

Below are links I found that will be enacted on by me and my husband in the coming weeks. Consider these your El Nino preparedness steps, too.

Sand Bags

Sand bags can be filled for free throughout the county. Click here.

Flood Insurance

Anyone can purchase flood insurance through FEMA. Even renters can purchase this insurance. But your policy has to be in place 30 days before you can file a claim! So get busy! I’ve been through the entire FEMA website to save you the trouble find the ‘Purchase Insurance’ link. Click here. Once you click, you will complete the red box on the right side of your screen, which will open up a new page of insurance agents in your area that sell FEMA’s flood insurance. I contacted one today.

Flood Cost Calculator

If you don’t purchase flood insurance and are flooded, you’re on your own. Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood. Here, check the FEMA calculator to work up your potential out-of-pockets costs without flood insurance. I took the test for a 1,000 SF home, but my home is larger. And I calculated one-inch of water. The total damage for 1,000 SF: $10,600. Let’s round that up to $15,000 to be safe because my house is larger. Wait! What? Living room furniture replacement estimated at only $250? Oh oh. Let’s go to $20,000 for one inch of water. Click here to test your home, and it’s the blue box.

Paperwork Preparedness

This is a fairly decent plan, also put out by FEMA, that organizes your family’s plan via paperwork and action steps. Look at it here.

Disaster Supply Kit

This can be used for El Nino, fire or any other unexpected disaster. It’s thorough. Read it here.

KPBS San Diego

KPBS keeps things pretty mellow normally, but this valuable interview covers all the things I just mentioned. Read and watch here (4 minutes).

FEMA Flood Maps — How Does Your Neighborhood Stack Up?

This FEMA mapping is a little tricky and is slow. Be patient. Click here to enter your address. If it times out in Chrome, copy the link to Internet Explorer, where it seems to work better. Enter your address like this: 3349 Main Street, San Diego. Each area of town is laid out in a grid, and each grid has a number. That’s the map number. When your map comes up, then I like the “interactive” map button right there in the middle. Play with it and if you zoom out, you’ll see blue areas that are in a greater flood zone. I am in a low flood probability zone. But I am still doing everything on this list.

Prepare, don’t panic. San Diego real estate will continue through Winter 2015 and we’ll be ready and here for you.

Kimberly Dotseth, broker/owner, Blend Real Estate

(858) 291-8110 or


Today’s photo, copyright Kimberly Dotseth (2015).

Caught in a biblical rain storm with Kerry Garnett, Washington, D.C.



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