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How prepared Ali what could we do.
In general to protect ourselves.
From -- is -- -- does that kind of disasters to make ourselves.
Better prepared I'm joined now by doctor Scott Gabriel Knowles who is professor.
-- politics and history at Drexel University and he is also all all all well all.
The desire -- experts there it is on the screen mosque during that risk in Malden.
America -- professor great to see it.
Good morning thank you good morning thank you for being here on the so how do we mosque.
Posed by this these kind of led the -- Well that storm certainly showed people in living color.
Coastal hazards that they were that they were facing and the fact is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Hadn't maps many of these places in 25 years or more so the super storm -- and hurricane.
The risks I think in a way that people hadn't necessarily seen.
You know I think the larger issue here we could talk about preparedness and how well from everywhere but the larger issue here is that we're really living in disaster at this point.
Nine out of the ten most costly hurricanes in the United States have occurred since 2004 so this is a problem that's not going away anytime soon aren't so.
There it's not going away anytime soon we we heard Michael from comment talking back.
The way that they on noticing significant climate -- -- Want do we do how do we prepare ourselves is this all the government needs to -- here do we need to do things privately.
Is it private business and private innovations won't sit -- do we do.
Well I think the first thing is we need to just be aware.
Of the magnitude of the risk.
The fact is that we have been very successful in the United States building ourselves into harm's way for the last two generations.
The fastest growing states have been Texas.
And Florida states -- enormous risks but on the northeast as well coastal states and particularly coastal counties have been growing very rapidly so part of it is just.
Coming to the awareness that this is not these are not going to be one off events we're truly living in a new kind of disaster -- -- now so what we do about that.
I think there a couple of specific things at -- extremely local level individual citizens can be and should be very actively involved.
In the way that land use is decided in there in their communities at the county level and at the state level -- these are decisions that are often made very locally.
And although the development is good for localities that needs to be some sort of discussion about what's reasonable in terms of development.
I think we can also talk about reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program and to FEMA itself as well -- and talk a little -- -- the flood insurance program.
Why is it a problem now and how should it be -- Well the flood insurance program some historians solve try to keep this to pretty great but the -- program was created in 1968.
And it was created exactly because there was this fear there were many disasters hurricanes in the sixties this fear that.
Congress is gonna have to keep appropriating larger and larger sums of money for disaster relief -- the flood insurance program as a way to bring citizens.
Under flood protection with a private market wouldn't go there.
And so that was the idea of the program the problem is that the program.
Success is contingent on people buying the insurance keeping the insurance and also a continuous process of re mapping these dangerous areas if you haven't -- the risk.
You're just sort of riding the policies in the dark so this has been a real problem the program was I would say.
Up until Hurricane Katrina -- was running in the black but Hurricane Katrina.
Really showed and in the program then went into debt.
And the hurricane sandy demonstrated the problems of the program as well all right so what's the best way to reforming.
Well -- few months actually before hurricane sandy congress actually.
Undertook a pretty thorough reform of the program -- bigger waters flood reform act of 2012.
And it undertook some pretty serious reforms a couple of specific things.
One is that it removed exceptions for grandfather properties that is properties that flood repeatedly.
They have the ability to take out the insurance but for the program existed 1968.
These properties are no longer going to be able to be insured.
Also second properties so people have a second home and I'm gonna be eligible for subsidized flood insurance and businesses are not going to be eligible for subsidized flood insurance.
The other thing is that the program now makes a serious monetary commitment to keeping the level of knowledge around the flood plane up to where it should be.
I would point out that was past three months before sandy so sandy really show the need.
For these reforms but right now in congress there's -- pretty serious push back.
Actually to having the reforms go forward and so we're not even sure if the reforms that are on the table are going to be implemented despite the evidence of their -- from -- And I did the way it is this just a question of politics is that the problem here.
But the fact is that of course if you you know -- down eastern seaboard and around the Gulf Coast there are a lot of senators and -- a lot of represented -- there represented people who have.
Coastal -- coastal properties and they're gonna see their insurance rates go up as a result of this flood insurance program reform so the question now becomes as it always has been.
What's the balance between development.
And protection and so certainly it's you know with a large number of your constituents are coming to as that is the case in Louisiana certainly senator -- -- has been.
Really pushing us pushing back against.
Reform obviously she's trying to represent her constituents who don't see their flood insurance.
Rates go up.
There are FEMA has put forward.
Ways for people to not have the rates go up as quickly and I think honestly it really falls to states and localities.
To try to help individuals are gonna see a spike in a flood insurance rates.
So that people don't abandon the -- by I don't actually think that's gonna happen and we have to plant the flag somewhere we have to plant the flag to perform somewhere because again as your previous guest said.
These risks are not going away we have built ourselves into harm's way we are not -- -- -- Ocean City we are not gonna unveils New York City or new wallets we have to learn to live with the risk.
So band that you you've been used the phrase abandon the coast.
That's just not a practical thing to do.
Obviously for -- these major cities and earnings down that.
But what should we stop them.
In these flood zones.
I think that's.
An interesting question and we can see the conversation unfolding right now both in New Jersey and New York Governor Christie in New Jersey Governor Cuomo in New York.
Have offered buyouts.
To people who might choose not to rebuild their homes and places.
That were flooded so part of this may just be seizing the moment and saying there's some areas that are really with the risk.
-- -- -- Then we talk about looking forward and you know as the flood plain maps are re drawn FEMA is in the midst right now a massive.
Re drawing in the flood plain maps which is going -- provide localities and states with the opportunity to once again say there are these are just areas where maybe two.
Too expensive in the future felt that doesn't mean the land can't still be useful can be useful for recreation it can be useful for watershed.
For all sorts of different purposes but maybe just maybe not for homebuilding and so it if you -- the -- it -- we'll take a sea change in attitudes.
I think that's what we're looking at at here and that's why I said earlier I think we have to stop acting as if these are sort of individual events if you look at the span of time just in that since 2001 we've had.
Over half a trillion dollars lost just from natural hazards.
Tornadoes wildfires things like that in the United States we have to stop acting like these are individual events we are truly living in disasters.
And fascinating to told you don't just -- Gabriel knows.
Professor of politics and history at Drexel University.
And all -- all of the book on the screen right -- the disaster experts.
Mosques during risk in modern America -- a fascinating -- told you thank you so much for being here today.
Thanks for the opportunity I appreciate.
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