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Flooding is one of the most deadly and destructive natural disasters and as floods and powerful storms increase due to climate change, it’s more important than ever that people understand the potential risks their properties face.
Scott Harris of Baltimore learned too late that his block had flooded seven times since the 1970s, and now pays $1,200 a month for flood insurance, “I’m bent over a barrel,” he said, “I can’t do anything else about it.”
Taking Action: Experts and activists from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are pushing for reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides federally subsidized insurance for those whose homes are susceptible to flooding. They call for FEMA to provide homeowners with information about flood insurance formerly covering their homes and create a national database to track damage claims and repeatedly flooded properties.
Meanwhile, NPR suggests that prospective homebuyers should look to media and local news to find out if the home or area they’re considering has been flooded before, and use flood tracking websites that can help determine if their prospective home will be flooded in the future. NPR also recommends doing a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to flood insurance, noting that buyers may get their insurance at a bargain in areas designated low risk by FEMA.
Akouete Yemey of Roanoke, Virginia fears the creek behind his home explaining, “basically, every time it starts raining, the panic and anxiety start kicking in.” Harris feels the same anxiety, “it’s not a matter of if, but when. With climate change, we seem to be getting more and more rain, heavier rain, and it’s been a lot more unpredictable.”
Without comprehensive and aggressive action to fight climate change and warming ocean temperatures, no amount of warnings will be able to prevent devastating harm to the growing number of floodplain residents.
Axios reported this week that while coverage of climate change by media outlets has increased, this pales in comparison to the coverage that weather receives. Groups like Climate Central have launched new tools that can help journalists understand the local impacts of climate change while the Weather Channel has committed to tying climate change to […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer As temperatures hit record highs in the Western U.S. this week, another heatwave was brewing in Siberia. New satellite imagery showed that ground temperatures in the Arctic circle topped 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts say that rising temperatures like these in the world’s coldest regions threaten oceans, permafrost, forests, and more. Moreover, experts say that […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The Weather Channel reported that this summer will be especially hot for the Western and Northern parts of the United States—from the Great Lakes to the Plains and Northwest— through September. Meanwhile, Texas and the Deep South will tend to be less hot than average. We’ve seen a preview […]
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