On Aug. 1, 1968, the U.S. Congress implemented the National Flood Insurance Act that created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Federal Insurance Administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide flood insurance in communities that voluntarily adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances, which meet minimum NFIP requirements.
A lot has happened since the inception of the NFIP.
During the last 50 years, the program has identified flood hazards by mapping over 1 million miles of riverine and coastal areas; provided over $1 billion dollars in mitigation assistance grants, paid over $64 billion dollars in claims losses, and assisted states and territories to help their communities lower flood risks, increase resilience, and build capability through grants of more than $10 million annually. In addition, over this time, 1,466 communities have taken actions and achieved higher than minimum standards for flood protection by participating in the Community Rating System.
The NFIP supports 5 million policies in over 22,300 communities, providing $1.27 trillion dollars in coverage. Last year, in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the NFIP received more than 125,000 flood insurance claims and paid out more than $9.1 billion dollars. That’s real money in the hands of survivors, allowing them to stay in their communities, repair their homes, and get back to work.
Over the past 50 years, the NFIP has been and continues to be committed to building a culture of preparedness by providing insurance coverage to close the insurance gap across the nation. Simply put, flood insurance is the best way for homeowners, renters, and businesses, to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
As we celebrate the NFIP for its accomplishments, we also look forward to reaching FEMA’s Moonshots of doubling insurance coverage across the nation and quadrupling mitigation investments by 2022. This is an ambitious goal, and lots of works still needs to be done, but we are up for the challenge. More insured survivors, means individuals and communities can recover faster.
Congratulations, NFIP, on 50 years of service to the American people!