House Joins Senate in Effort to Improve U.S. Flood Readiness

House Joins Senate in Effort to Improve U.S. Flood Readiness

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: The PEW Charitable Trusts
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As residents of Florida, the Carolinas, and much of the rest of the Southeast deal with the extended recovery and rebuilding from Hurricanes Michael and Florence—which caused dozens of deaths, and damage potentially exceeding $50 billion—they can gain some solace in knowing that the House of Representatives took a step this month toward minimizing the impacts of future floods on American communities.

H.R. 7037, introduced Oct. 5, would create a revolving loan fund program for states, to be run jointly by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and state governments. The program would provide the nation’s first sustainable source of money for flood mitigation projects. The House bill is similar to one introduced in the Senate in June 2017.

Mitigation is key to decreasing the costs of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Michael and Florence. A 2018 report by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that every dollar spent by the federal government on disaster mitigation saves $6 in future costs. Such savings are crucial: The U.S. has experienced more than $750 billion in flood-related damage since 2000.