Flood-Prepared Communities
Project

Flood-Prepared Communities

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.
In Milwaukee, restoring the natural function of Lincoln Creek has enhanced the waterway's capacity to absorb and channel heavy rains, reducing flood risk for more than 2,000 nearby homes and businesses.
In Milwaukee, restoring the natural function of Lincoln Creek has enhanced the waterway's capacity to absorb and channel heavy rains, reducing flood risk for more than 2,000 nearby homes and businesses.
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To Mitigate Flooding, Turn to Nature

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As many around the U.S. mark the 51st Earth Day, communities and states are increasingly recognizing that smart conservation can help people as well as the natural world. One example of this is the growing adoption of nature-based solutions to mitigate flooding.

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Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk

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Since 2000, floods have cost the United States more than $845 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The expense of adapting to more frequent and severe storms is projected to rise over the next several decades, placing a premium on the need to take action now to reduce the impacts of future floods.

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