With hundreds of Iowa homes damaged or destroyed by flooding just this month, the director of the National Flood Insurance program is launching a campaign to get more people to buy flood insurance and to focus on addressing hazards ahead of time. Dave Maurstad says the effort is working to close the insurance gap.
Difficult, back-to-back hurricane seasons and events such as inland flooding, wildfires and mudslides helped shape the new strategy. Maurstad says the highest priority of the strategic plan is to develop what he calls a “culture of preparedness.”
There are now about five-million flood insurance policy-holders in the nation, generating about five-billion dollars in revenue. For homeowners in low- to medium-risk areas, preferred-risk flood insurance policies can cost around $500 a year. For those in high-risk flood zones, the cost can rise to around $2,000. Maurstad says homeowners need to become better informed about the areas where they live and make changes before the next storm hits.
Maurstad says one goal of FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program is to quadruple the amount of investment in mitigation by 2022. He says that would allow the nation to bounce back faster from natural disasters.