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As climate change disasters become more common, insurance and aid programs will be less effective.

As climate change disasters become more common, insurance and aid programs will be less effective.

After a mudslide swamped the Shimbo family's home in Silverado, Calif., on Dec. 14, 2021, their insurance claim was denied. They are exploring bankruptcy and selling their house to the federal government.

After a mudslide swamped the Shimbo family's home in Silverado, Calif., on Dec. 14, 2021, their insurance claim was denied. They are exploring bankruptcy and selling their house to the federal government.

Akira Shimbo and Tiffany Shimbo were on Zoom work calls Dec. 14 when they heard a loud crash outside their Silverado Canyon home, a sylvan outpost located 45 miles southeast from Los Angeles. Akira ran out to the outside and saw a fast-moving stream of mud and water over their fence, pushing their Jacuzzi and garden beds into the Silverado Creek below. 

“It sounded just like a car accident, only over and over,” said Tiffany Shimbo.

Tiffany pulled Akira through the window to safety while floodwaters and debris flows raged at their home on three sides. They waited three hours until the waters receded. The house stood, they and their 5-year-old daughter were alive, but they would soon learn that neither their insurance nor government disaster relief programs would help them.



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