Hurricane Hindsight is 20/20

hurricane hindsight, flood insurance

Hurricane Hindsight is 20/20

If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, then you know full and well about the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought to Houston. An unprecedented amount of rain had fallen in the Houston area in just a few days and caused one of the worst flooding events in the history of the US.

It’s the third catastrophic flooding event this region of 6.5 million people has experienced in three years. Just like with any disaster, scientists and experts have claimed that most of the devastation could have been prevented. The gulf coast has experienced unusually high amounts of precipitation over the past ten years, and it is steadily increasing. These experts say that local officials need to account for more frequent and intense rains rather than looking to the past in search for solutions.

In New Orleans, residents and officials are still learning from Katrina. Katrina’s ten-year anniversary estimates found the federal government spent approximately $120 billion on Hurricane Katrina related recovery: more than three times the annual budget of Louisiana. These funds a rebuilt levee system, new school facilities and the city’s tourism is thriving again. Federal recovery dollars functions as a band-aid for an economy, but it takes creative and innovative planning to have that money support economic growth.

So what can city officials do to prevent such destruction?

Developing Evacuation plans and double-checking insurance coverage
Flood coverage is not included in typical homeowner policies. While your insurance may cover fires and other catastrophic events, flooding usually means you pay extra.

A properly managed rebuilding plan
Throughout history, citizens suffer more misery during an extended poorly managed rebuilding effort than from a hurricane’s high winds and pounding rains. For example, twenty-two months after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, New Orleans was still waiting for federal funds to promote neighborhood recover. This waiting period causes widespread displacement also means that long after a disaster, empty homes remain boarded and unsecured. New and returning local businesses cannot afford to open their doors in dark neighborhoods.

Working on the improvement of outdated laws
Laws are critical when it comes to resilience against natural disasters. Before storms, laws set the guidelines by setting development standards to minimize loss of life or property. However, many laws were adopted before hazard mitigation, and some newer laws have been drafted without considering disaster risk reduction and recovery.

When it comes to mother nature, there may be plenty of room for improvement with prevention and recovery: but it’s also really unpredictable. AWS knows the importance of insurance when disaster strikes. With a great flood insurance coverage policy, you can be out of a home if you can’t pay for damages out-of-pocket. For protection when Mother Nature strikes, give AWS Insurance a call.

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.