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Why FEMA is Taking a Stand on Flooding and Why You Should, Too

Category - General
by Lisa Eifert on September 22nd, 2016

Just how much of a threat is flooding? FEMA has proposed setting limits to federally funded construction projects in order to shore up flood-prone communities from the hazards of flooding. Let’s take a closer look at the situation and FEMA’s response, along with other ways organizations and individuals can protect themselves in a flood situation.

The Facts on Floods

Over the past five years alone, all 50 states have experienced some form of flood or flash flood. Not only that, but everyone lives in a flood zone, according to FloodSmart. And just a few inches of flood water can yield significant damages—a scenario made exponentially worse by the fact that flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

Even more dire? A future in which big storms which once happened every 20 years or so are expected to occur as frequently as every four years by the end of the 21st century, according to the National Wildlife Federation. In fact, homes in high-risk areas are now more likely to incur damage caused by flood than by fire.

FEMA on Flooding

Because new land development can alter natural runoff paths, it can increase flood risk. Additionally, new construction in floodplain areas further increases the vulnerability of surrounding communities. In response, FEMA has proposed new rules requiring all federally funded construction to occur on higher ground with even more stringent requirements pertaining to building projects like nursing homes and hospitals.

According to the proposal, “Flooding is the most common and costly type of natural disaster in the United States, and floods are expected to be more frequent and more severe over the next century. This proposed rule would ensure that FEMA Federally Funded Projects are designed to be resilient to both current and future flood risks.”

The Push for Proactivity

Says Taxpayers for Common Sense Vice President Steve Ellis, “Ensuring that taxpayer-funded investments are built to a standard that reduces future losses is common sense. Instead of continuing to rely on post-disaster spending, the country has to be forward thinking and help reduce risk to people, property and taxpayers.”

While FEMA’s move is largely considered to be a promising initiative and has been heralded by organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Association of State Floodplain Managers, it’s just one of a number of different strategies for adopting a proactive approach to the increasing risk of floods. Also critical? Ample communication—both in terms of life-saving evacuation warnings as well as regarding ways to keep people and organization in touch after a catastrophic flood.

But is there really time to think of these things when a massive storm is in the forecast or while coping with the damage afterwards? This is why it’s so important to have a communication plan in place long before a storm is bearing down. One Call Now can help keep people connected before, during and after a flood in order to safeguard themselves, their belongings, and their loved ones when disaster strikes.