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Looming danger? Make sure you’re prepared for potential damage.

December 23, 2020 – News

Many natural hazards exist in and around Juneau, such as earthquakes, avalanches, severe weather, tsunamis, landslides, and floods. While the City and Borough of Juneau, with the help of partner agencies, monitors potential natural emergencies, it is up to individual property owners to be aware of the hazards that exist nearby and be properly prepared for any damage those hazards may cause.

“During the last several years of glacier flooding, mudslides and more, we have recognized that many property owners in Juneau are not insured to the value of their potential loss. For example, if you live in a flood zone and have FEMA flood insurance, it’s important to recognize that it is capped at $250,000,” CBJ Emergency Programs Manager Tom Mattice said. “Some property owners may even have specialized avalanche insurance, but may also live in a mudslide or flash flood area. We suggest all homeowners work with their insurance agents to walk through possible scenarios to make sure you have the insurance you need to protect yourself in difficult times.”

When Juneau experiences an extreme weather event, like the December 2 storm, it creates danger and damage at the time of the event; it also causes many areas to remain unstable for some time afterward. For example, Mattice has noted that two sections of the White Avalanche Path hillside released around the time of the storm, causing large debris flows down onto Wickersham Avenue and Glacier Highway. The areas around the sections that slid remain in place, but with questionable stability. Danger will potentially linger in this area longer than others.

“Mass wasting events are complex. Even without obvious signs of instability during large rain events, we can experience them anytime at almost any place along our hillsides,” Mattice said.

For more information, contact Emergency Program Manager Tom Mattice at 586-0419 or Tom.Mattice@juneau.org.