As I noted in an earlier posting, serious problems will surface in LA when the reality of no insurance for many of the estimated 60,000 homes damaged is fully realized.
See: Louisiana residents without flood insurance face uncertainty. Some details:
In Louisiana, an estimated 42 percent of homes in high-risk areas have flood insurance, according to FEMA. Only 12.5 percent of homeowners in low and moderate-risk zones do.
Many of the areas hit hard by record rainfall last week were not considered at high risk for flooding.
Those residents without flood insurance are eligible for up to $33,000 in FEMA individual disaster assistance funds, although most will likely receive less than that, based on payments following other major disasters.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, FEMA paid $6.6 billion to approximately 1.07 million households and individuals in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, an average of just over $6,000 per grant, according to agency figures. Superstorm Sandy in 2012 produced an average payout of under $8,000 for about 180,000 residents of New York and New Jersey.
NOTE: See comments from Ed Thomas, President of Natural Hazards Mitigation Association.
A word from our sponsor – the Diva is editor of this book
Just in time for the fall semester, this popular text book has just been marked down. See: Emergency Management; the American Experience, 1900-2010. Details about the table of contents, authors, and contents can be seen on the publisher’s website. If you go to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble and then to DisasterBookstore.com, you will see the lowest price for the book presently.
And for those of you who want to know the origins and history of FEMA, this book tells all!
Here is a nice gesture from a corporation to communities experiencing a disaster. See: ESRI offers free aid to agencies battling disasters.
GIS vendor Esri says it will offer free help to agencies dealing with a major disaster — whether or not that organization is an Esri customer. The company is currently providing help to governments coping with flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in California.
“Esri’s Disaster Response Program provides software support, data support, and consulting/technical support for active disasters,” Russ Johnson, director, global director for emergency response at Esri said in an emailed statement
That can include creating real-time maps with road-closing and evacuation-route information, mapping affected areas and available relief supplies, and incorporating social media posts from disaster areas with useful on-the-ground information.
Anyone at a government or non-profit agency dealing with a disaster such as fire, flood, hurricane or earthquake can request help at the Esri website.
As I watch the news accounts of the LA floods — with about 60,000 homes damaged to some extent and most owners with no flood insurance — I cannot help but think that our current federal response system and the National Flood Insurance Program are not adequate for the larger and more complex disasters the U.S. is experiencing. Whether or not these events are caused by climate change, the point is we need to think bigger and better about disasters. Also, I predict that FEMA is going to take a lot of abuse that it does not deserve, because of the limitations of its enabling legislation.
From the Wash. Post on August 19th: As People Flee Disasters Is This What Climate Change Looks Like? One quote from the article:
This is merely a foretaste of what will happen in the decades to come on a much more massive scale,” said Michael Gerrard, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “Few places have undertaken serious planning that ultimately there’s going to have to be, and I’m talking about decades, large-scale movement inland in many coastal areas.”
This is one of several articles about the lack of national attention to the extreme flooding in LA. I got confirmation of this concern from a friend working on the disaster in LA. The Diva wants to clarify the call for more attention, although she is dependent on secondary sources.
See: America Is Ignoring Another Natural Disaster Near the Gulf. “Southern Louisiana is drowning again. No one seems to care.”
I do give Craig Fugate, FEMA, and DHS credit for trying hard to help. Both Fuguate and the DHS Secretary have gone to visit LA.
Update on August 19: According to CNN, some folks in LA said President Obama should cut short his vacation and pay attention to their plight.
Last night Gov. Edwards of LA was on TV. When asked his opinion re the President’s visit, he said he was welcome anytime, but that he asked the President to wait a week or two so that he would not have to divert some many resources to preparing for his visit and security. Edwards said he was satisfied with FEMA’s assistance, but was disappointed in the lack of media coverage. The latter is essential for donations to charities, like the Red Cross, which the state desperately needs to help the victims.
Today I see that president candidate Donald Trump is planning to visit the disaster area. Big question about what good that will do for the flood victims.
We’re Facing the Strongest Hurricane Season Since the Year Sandy Hit.
***NOAA reports a 70% chance of 12 to 17 named storms, of which five to eight are expected to become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes.
This is an increase from the NOAA’s May outlook, which called for 10 to 16 named storms, of which four to eight were expected to become hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes.
While a difference of one predicted major hurricane may not seem significant, as Hurricane Sandy proved, one
FEMA: Unclear what housing options will be used, but don’t expect Katrina-era FEMA trailers. Some excerpts from the article:
Earlier this year, the federal government unveiled what it called the “new and improved” FEMA trailer, which is a bit roomier and includes fire sprinklers in all units.
Fugate, who traveled to Louisiana this week to assess the flood damage, said other updates have been made to make sure that the trailers comply with housing standards outlined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.