Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Spending More for Flood-Ready Infrastructure

85% favor requirement that federally funded structures are designed to better withstand flooding, poll shows

Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Spending More for Flood-Ready Infrastructure
Floods
Flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda blocks traffic on Highway 69 North in Houston on September 19, 2019. Investing in resilient infrastructure can help make roadways less prone to flooding.
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

As Congress considers devoting hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars toward upgrading the nation’s roads, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure, an overwhelming majority of Americans—85 percent—endorse requiring that federally funded structures in flood-prone areas be designed to better withstand flooding. Additionally, 83 percent of Americans support providing communities and states with pre-disaster grants to upgrade roadways so they can better withstand harsh weather, according to a poll released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

After a year of significant flooding across much of the Midwest, these numbers show robust support among Americans for stronger flood policies. Sixty-eight percent of Americans support spending more upfront to build or repair infrastructure in ways that increase resilience beyond a state of good working condition.  

The support for resilient investments crosses the political spectrum and every region of the country, as does the concern—expressed by 74 percent of poll respondents—that the number of extreme weather events, such as storms, floods, excessive heat, and wildfires, will increase over the next decade.

Congress should heed the opinions of the more than eight out of 10 Americans who want our nation’s roadways built to withstand extreme weather. One proposal supported by Pew is to establish a pre-disaster transportation program that would provide localities with grants to improve the ability of roadways to withstand extreme weather. Doing so would help improve the resiliency of vulnerable and repeatedly damaged assets before the next storm.

Forbes Tompkins is a manager with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ flood-prepared communities initiative.

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Small Businesses Nationwide Call on Congress to Prioritize Flood-Ready Infrastructure

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More than 500 small-business leaders from all 50 states have signed a letter to Congress urging legislative action to ensure that the nation’s infrastructure is flood ready.

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Business Owners Share Flood Stories in Call for Stronger National Standards

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Small businesses are central to the country’s economy, providing goods and services while creating jobs and encouraging community growth. Small businesses also often find themselves at the forefront of the impacts of extreme weather events, including flooding.

It's Time to Make U.S. Infrastructure Flood-Ready 
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Fact Sheet

Prioritizing Flood-Ready Infrastructure

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Fact Sheet

Prioritizing Flood-Ready Infrastructure

Our country’s infrastructure faces increasing vulnerability due to the impacts of severe weather, rising population, and changing land use patterns. Moreover, the aging built environment suffers from years of underfunding and neglect. Major reform is needed to ensure that new investments increase the durability of the man-made surroundings and consider nature-based approaches to minimize future flood damage, reduce the impact and costly cycle of rebuilding, and save taxpayer dollars.