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Flooding risks for the Hispanic population of Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles has almost 2 million Hispanic residents, trailing only the city of New York as the city with the biggest Hispanic population in the United States. 

When looking at the entire Los Angeles County, there are almost 5 million Hispanic citizens, comprising the largest ethnic group in the Southern California region. 

While it’s impressive that so many Hispanics have settled in the region and now call it home, there’s one problem that all those residents face right now, with expectations that the problem will only grow in the future. 

That problem is the flooding risk that Los Angeles County faces.

Climate change and consistently worse weather conditions each year catch many citizens off guard and cause insurmountable damage. Unfortunately, Los Angeles has inadequate infrastructure to defend itself against the heavy, flood-causing rainfall expected to happen in the region in the future. 

How many people are at risk of flooding?

Around 1,300,000 residents of the county live in flood plains, which are defined as the regions with high chances of experiencing a flooding event in the next 100 years. 

This information came from the study conducted by the team at the University of California, Irvine, and they concluded that non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Asian communities have disproportionately higher chances of experiencing a devastating flood than white communities. 

Their exact numbers say that non-Hispanic black communities have 79% higher chances of being flooded with over 1 meter of water, while Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian communities are 17% and 11% more likely, respectively. 

This raises a concern for not just those residents but everybody who lives in Los Angeles County, as this exposed population makes up around 15% of the entire county. 

What regions have the highest risk of flooding?

The most risk is concentrated in the Long Beach, Compton, Paramount, and South Gate regions, exactly where the majority of the Hispanic population is settled.

For reference, here is what percentage of the population of these communities is Hispanic:

Long Beach - 36%

Compton - 57%

Paramount - 73%

South Gate - 92%

Source: LA Times

If you’re a Hispanic citizen living in some of these communities, you should pay special attention to this because you may belong to the exposed population. 

Hence, it’s important that you educate yourself on the matter and be ready in case a calamity happens so that you know what to do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while minimizing financial losses. 

How to prepare for a flood?

Our best suggestion would be to move to a community with fewer flooding risks. Explore the study we have referenced and see what communities have less risk, and then consider moving if you have the means. 

Regardless of whether you do so, consider purchasing flood insurance in order to be eligible for coverage after the disaster. 

If you’re staying, develop a plan to move to higher ground in case of a flood. Have an emergency plan, and always have an emergency kit ready to be picked up. 

Do not try to save, preserve, or recover any material possessions before you and your family members are safe. 

Follow officials’ instructions and warnings. If the officials order to evacuate, do it. 

How to recover after a flood?

Once the disaster has passed, act quickly to try to save as much of your property as possible. The longer your property stays flooded, the worse the damage will get. 

Call a disaster damage restoration company like Vetted Los Angeles Restorations. Such companies will help repair and restore your property after flooding, effectively mitigating most of the damage. 

Look up whether FEMA is offering disaster assistance grants in your area.

And finally, if you have flood insurance, use it. File a claim and work with your restoration company to negotiate the best deal with your insurance company for your situation. 

What is next for Hispanic residents of Los Angeles?

Climate change is a real concern, and flash flooding and heavy storms continue to happen more and more throughout Southern California. Just recently, Los Angeles experienced a lot of flood devastation in late 2022 and early 2023. 

This goes to show how real these flooding risks are, and they are only expected to get worse as climate change goes on. 

Follow the advice we’ve provided in this article, do more research on flooding, and make sure to keep you and your family safe at all times.

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