FEMA May Increase Flood Insurance Rates to Reflect Skyrocketing Risk

FEMA May Increase Flood Insurance Rates to Reflect Skyrocketing Risk

The National Flood Insurance Program is revising its rates for flood coverage on April 1st, and to reflect current risks, and experts say they may need to quadruple. FEMA’s new risk rating system will use a model proposed by the First Street Foundation, which found that by 2050, insurance premiums on flood-risk homes would need to rise sevenfold to cover the costs of annual damage.

Why This Matters: The rising premiums create a conundrum for the Biden administration, which has promised to honor science in federal policymaking but has also pledged to address economic issues facing the working class.

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Flood Costs Rising

Flood Costs Rising

The costs of inaction on climate change keep rising  — an additional $2.5 billion a year in just U.S. flood damage. A study published this week found that from 1988-2017, increased rainfall led to a total of $75 billion in damage

Why this Matters: Flooding is one of the most common and expensive natural disasters and will only go up in the years ahead.

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Will Venice’s Tide Barriers Be Enough to Prevent Flooding?

Will Venice’s Tide Barriers Be Enough to Prevent Flooding?

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer Venice, Italy has been in the process of building a floodgate system, MOSE,  to avert its devastating flood season known as acqua alta. Thus far, the system has been successful in blocking some floods from overtaking the city—on October 3rd of this year, MOSE successfully prevented the high tide […]

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Will The Government Require Federally-Funded Buildings to Meet Flood Standards?

Will The Government Require Federally-Funded Buildings to Meet Flood Standards?

In order to ensure we are adapting to climate change, E&E News reports that some experts are arguing that the incoming Biden Administration may want to put back in place a requirement that all buildings, infrastructure, and homes funded or backed with federal dollars be flood-proofed.

Why This Matters:  Not being flood-proofed is just dumb and really costly in the long run.

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Despite Sea Level Rise, Some Small Islands Are Expanding

Despite Sea Level Rise, Some Small Islands Are Expanding

Researchers studying climate change have found that despite sea-levels rising, some islands are growing faster and are able to stay ahead of the ocean.  Atolls — islands that are situated within rings of coral reefs — are formed by sediments shed by the reefs around them.  Scientists believe that many atolls in the Pacific will disappear in the decades to come because of sea-level rise.

Why This Matters:  This research, funded in part by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows that natural systems can adapt in the face of momentous changes — the sea level at Jeh Island is rising much more each year than in most parts of the world.

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Fannie and Freddie Mortgages Vastly Underestimate Flooding Risks

Fannie and Freddie Mortgages Vastly Underestimate Flooding Risks

Climate-induced flooding has inundated coastal cities, yet new reporting from Politico shows that government mortgage lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to pump money into severely flood-prone property markets.  As such in the Florida town of Hialeah, federal taxpayers hold greater than 60% of home mortgages. And as Politico explained, “if the homes […]

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