Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., significantly affecting homes, businesses, infrastructure, and the environment. Since 2000, flood-related disasters in the U.S. accounted for more than $850 billion in damage and losses.
Pew aims to reduce these impacts by improving policies and planning at the federal and state levels to:
- Enhance pre-disaster mitigation: Directing more resources toward and increasing the use of proactive approaches, such as removing properties from flood-prone areas, increasing green space, and restoring and protecting flood plains, will limit the effects and cost of floods.
- Ensure infrastructure is flood-ready: Updating the nation’s roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure to better withstand future flood events will help improve community resilience and reduce taxpayer losses.
- Establish flood-resilient states: Systematic planning and adoption of nature-based solutions to address flood risks will reduce the severity of floods, boost states’ ability to withstand future storms, and lower disaster costs.
- Modernize federal flood insurance: Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program to reflect current and future threats; remove incentives for development in flood-prone areas; and break the costly cycle of flooding, damage, and repair will help the program better meet its goals of lowering federal spending on disaster response and rebuilding.
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Report April 1, 2022