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Author: Roy Wright
After last year’s devastating floods in Texas and Florida, I saw firsthand how critical flood insurance is for recovery after extreme events. But too few Americans have the proper coverage for their homes. As we shift the nation’s mindset about preparedness, closing the insurance coverage gap for homeowners and renters stands as a critical path for each of us to consider. It is time to think beyond our standard, historical approaches and work towards much needed growth and resiliency in the flood insurance market.In 2017, FEMA took a significant step to shift the conventional...
Posted On: January 5, 2018
Author: Roy Wright
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, I have visited the homes of many flood survivors. This year I can be more confident than ever that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will be there to pay their claims.November 30 marked the end of the 2017 hurricane season, the second largest claims year in the NFIP’s history. As of November 30, more than 122,000 survivors have filed claims for the recent floods, and FEMA has paid over $6.687 billion in flood insurance claims related to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.Before the storms of 2017 were even developing, we took a...
Posted On: December 5, 2017
Author: Roy Wright
Normally, I spend my days at work sitting (or standing) at a desk in a windowless office in Washington, D.C., answering email, taking conference calls, and talking to experts about flood insurance and risk reduction. These are topics I am passionate about, but let’s be honest, most people don’t spend their days thinking about floods and risk. It’s a little different—a little out of the ordinary.But flooding is important. And its consequences are devastating. When flood waters enter a home, they don’t flow like treated water from a swimming pool. Floodwaters...
Posted On: September 21, 2017
Author: Roy Wright
Most Americans with homes have homeowners’ insurance. We buy it to protect ourselves in the unlikely event that something big, bad and expensive happens to our house or property. We buy it every year for peace of mind, even though we hope not to experience a loss.Similarly, FEMA is now using reinsurance to protect the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) against large and uncertain costs of extreme flooding events. Reinsurance is an important risk management tool used by insurance companies and public entities to protect themselves from large financial losses. In other words,...
Posted On: January 3, 2017
Author: Roy Wright
My recent visits with Baton Rouge, Louisiana flood survivors reinforce the critical role flood insurance plays in returning our citizens to home, work and school after disasters. Already, nearly 29,000 survivors have filed claims for the flooding in Louisiana, and FEMA has paid out over $400 million to policyholders.One of our priorities at FEMA is to mitigate the impact of natural disasters by building resilient communities and helping Americans recover when damage occurs. A key resiliency resource is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which saves our country $1.7 billion in...
Posted On: September 21, 2016
Author: Roy Wright
Each year at this time, millions of Americans celebrate the return of spring by reinvesting in the places and spaces where they work and live. Whether it's adding a new roof, a new room, or a new coat of paint, we get to work on projects big and small that help make our homes and businesses safer environments to make a life and living.For the fifth consecutive year, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to highlight the essential role that safe building codese and standards play in decreasing the damaging effects of disasters and breaking the cycle of human...
Posted On: May 20, 2015
Author: Roy Wright
One year ago, on May 20, 2013, Moore, Oklahoma experienced a deadly tornado that devastated the area. Less than one year from the event new homes became safer.On April 17, 2014, Moore, Oklahoma, became the first in the nation to establish building code requirements to make residential buildings able to withstand the forces of an EF2 tornado. Building Code Amendments stand out as a great example of managing risk and improving building safety.The code amendment, including requirements for roof sheathing, hurricane straps and stud spacing, is designed so that the homes can withstand winds up to...
Posted On: May 29, 2014
Author: Roy Wright
Helping homeowners and communities know their risk of being impacted by disasters stands as one of our top priorities at FEMA. When you know your risk, you can prepare for the worst, take steps to mitigate against hazards, and protect yourself, your family and your property.Year to year, flooding is the most costly disaster in America. Flood maps play a vital role in helping us prepare for flooding by informing communities about the local flood risk. Flood maps help communities to incorporate flood risk into their planning. They’re also the basis for flood insurance rates through the...
Posted On: February 21, 2014
Author: Roy Wright
In my experience, people tend to think that making their home or business more resistant to disasters is a very complex process that requires many professionals.  However, in the majority of cases, a little do-it-yourself effort can go a long way.  Making your home safer can be as simple as clearing flammable materials around your home if you live in an area prone to wildfires – or as complex as using specialized techniques when rebuilding your home after a disaster.This month has been designated by the President as National Building Safety Month to highlight the importance of...
Posted On: May 16, 2013