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Green Visions
A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m. Green Visions is brought to you by All Energy Solar, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation Program, and Energy Plus.

Green Visions: The Future of Flooding

The tops of trees and three cars are seen above the surface of water
Shane Pehrson [via Flickr]

"Ninety-eight percent of the counties across the country have experienced a flood event," says David Maurstad, the Senior Executive of the National Flood Insurance Program with FEMA. "We've seen an increase in both the frequency [and] also the severity of flood events."

An increase in flooding means a greater need during flood recovery. Maurstad, a leader in disaster risk and the former lieutenant governor for the state of Nebraska, notes that FEMA does support communities after disaster events, but the response is sometimes not nearly enough. "It's a misnomer that after a flooding event - even a Presidentially declared disaster that has the total support of the federal government - that there's going to be assistance for individual property owners and small business owners."

As a reaction to these changes in flood frequency and severity, flood insurance has been adjusted so that each property is considered individually. An older model considered zones when coming up with a price point for insurance costs. "No longer is one person going to subsidize the cost of another policyholder," says Marstaud. The sophisticated research and approach will more appropriately assess a property and the potential damage that a flood might cause.

Maurstad also urges property owners to take preventative actions that include raising equipment out of potential flood areas and considering the value of items stored in basements. "We can do better, and we've got to really commit ourselves to what can we do to be more resilient to flood events and reduce disaster suffering."

For more information, visit any of the following websites:
Plan Ahead for Disasters | Ready.gov
Make A Plan | Ready.gov
The National Flood Insurance Program (floodsmart.gov)

You can hear Green Visions at 8:20am every Wednesday on Northland Morning.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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