Creating effective flood mitigation policies



Hurricane Katrina in 2005 increased awareness of the vulnerability of people and property in flood-prone areas of the United States, particularly repetitively flooded properties. Prior to Katrina, repetitive loss properties cost the United States over $200 million annually [General Accounting Office (GAO), 2004].

The U.S. Congress passed the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004 (FIRA) to maintain the fiscal soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ease the burden of repetitive loss properties on NFIP Federal calculations indicate that every dollar spent on mitigation activities creates a $3.65 savings in future disaster recovery costs, and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that over $1 billion are spared annually through flood mitigation and floodplain management programs [GAO, 2005a].