Risk Management – Trees, Soil Erosion, and Flood Mgt.

This page covers some key aspects to begin understanding tree and soil erosion management,  as well as accessing your flood risk.

Hazard Tree Removal

PG&E has been focused on removing trees near power lines that become SEVERE fire hazard or electrocution hazard in high winds.  They will attempt to reach out to property owners, but it may be very difficult to do so in certain circumstances.  For questions or concerns regarding trees near power lines, call Linda Clifton at (707)577-7218 or visit PG&E’s website for specific info on this.

As a general rule all conifers that where burned will not survive.  Oaks are more likely to survive fires and you can read more about them here.  Note that the rules about cutting trees in that article apply to oaks only.

For information on tree removal of adjacent lots that may threaten your structure, please visit these TipsFromSurvivors.

Soil Protection

The physical environment of soil development which occurs over at least 500-1000 years is influenced by five separate, yet interacting, factors: parent material, climate, topography, organisms, and time. Soil scientists call these the factors of soil formation.

Each micro-climate in the disaster zones will have a different set of factors and there is not a cookie cutter solution to management of top soil.

effects of vegetation in minimizing erosion

 Here are some techniques and materials for protection of soil erosion.   It is recommended you assess what “resources” you have on or near your property to protects soils including rocks and fallen logs.   This is also a good link with step by step guidance to erosion control.  For the super technical, here is a 150 page document on a soil survey for Lake County California.

Seeding and Reforestation

Seeding may not be effective on slopes greater than 30 degrees due to rate of soil erosion, using tree limbs and other solid structures strategically placed on the surface to trap moving soil is needed or usage of other water diversion techniques.


Angle affects the amount and velocity of water, and hence rate of erosion increases as you near the base of the slope. Rather than infiltrating into the soil to promote weathering and soil development, water runs off.  The closer you are to the base the greater the risk of soil movement on hills like this.

Evaluate your own property and your surrounding neighborhood.  Educate yourself about what you can do BEFORE flooding begins.

Assess Your Flood Risk

  1. You should check your parcel to see if it is in a flood zone
  2. Then evaluate the roads you typically travel on by looking at this interactive FEMA map.  (Look at the topographic layer.)
  3. If your home may be at risk, get flood insurance ASAP.  There is typically a 30 day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect.   Read this article to understand potential risk and cost.
  4. AND add a rider onto your general risk policy for mudflow because flood insurance won’t cover that.  Think chocolate shake versus chocolate cake, if you want to differentiate in your mind which policy that risk will fall under.  Read this to understand the issue.  

We can’t give you all the answers you need, but we hope this guides you further along your path toward protecting your home and family.

~*~ Updated Nov. 30, 2017 ~*~
Together we can help each other with valuable advice that needs to be shared to protect our homes and our foundation to thrive.

No story is told if there is no lesson.
Be informed. Choose wisely.

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This information is being re-purposed from our experience responding to the Valley Fire of 2015 and this is a living, changing document. This website resource is only a guide. Your local building and economic development department has the final word on what we can or can’t do.

Please thank them for allowing this RV policy because not every disaster area gets this privilege. SERIOUSLY!!! ~ Bring them as much love as the fire department. They are your NEXT RESPONDERS! They care about your well being and are working very hard to help people that were displaced by the fire storms on October 8th.

We invite you to offer your suggestions to improve this resource for other people.

Disclaimer: Everything related to RVs Without Borders and Tips From Survivors is being done by Good Samaritans. By using this site or its content or our ideas in any way, you agree to now and forever waive and release any claims whatsoever against the organizers, volunteers, and RV owners involved with this initiative, arising from any cause or event, or any action or non-action, real or imagined.

2 thoughts on “Risk Management – Trees, Soil Erosion, and Flood Mgt.”

  1. Thank you for helping me learn more about soil protection. One thing that I thought was really interesting was that the soil is affected by a couple different variables like parent material, climate, topography, organisms, and time. My fiance and I are looking to build a new home on a plot of land, but we are not sure about how to take care of the soil and prevent any kind of erosion. Thanks again for the information, and we will make sure to seek out a contractor to help us analyze it.

    1. You are welcome Michael! You will always want to get a surveyor to evaluate this ASAP before investing in deciding what you want to build and how.

      For those wanting to rebuild exactly what they had before the fire, the building process will be expedited and only minimal survey services are needed. Results in significant time and cost savings… as well as the resulting burden on your local building department who is typically understaffed in times like this.

      We are friends with DobleThomas.com and are pleased with their professionalism. It is a very busy time for surveyors in Northern California. Please be patient with them. It takes years of training to do what they do. Wishing you well in creating your next home.

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