We will rebuild! Is it grit or stupidity?
I don’t have an answer yet.
But when you hear new zoning or new flood insurance requirements being debated, stop and find out what’s going on. Because YOU are likely paying the bill for repetitive disasters now, and you will be paying the bill when disaster strikes again!
Rebuilding in disaster-prone areas is a big issue.
Rick Moran, in American Thinker, said it well.
“Across the nation, tens of billions of tax dollars have been spent on subsidizing coastal reconstruction in the aftermath of storms, usually with little consideration of whether it actually makes sense to keep rebuilding in disaster-prone areas. If history is any guide, a large fraction of the federal money allotted to New York, New Jersey and other states recovering from Hurricane Sandy – an amount that could exceed $30 billion – will be used the same way.
Tax money will go toward putting things back as they were, essentially duplicating the vulnerability that existed before the hurricane.”
(To see the full article, click here.)
The problem is compounded by the current role of the Federal Government.
Many citizens want to, and do, look to government when disasters overcome a community. Even conservatives who fight for less government seem to support government aid when their communities are affected. But by helping local communities rebuild, federal programs have often created targets for the next natural disaster.
There are some efforts underway to break the build-devastate-rebuild cycle.
Some isolated and admittedly random examples from around the world:
- Alberta, Canada, is considering a plan to not cover damage costs in extreme floodways in future if people choose to rebuild there.
- In Nigeria, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised state governments to relocate citizens living in flood-prone areas.
- King County, Washington has bought a mobile home park that lies close to a flood-prone portion of the Cedar River and is planning to relocate current residents.
And as a follow up to Mr. Moran’s comments above, I read that:
- In New Jersey, $300 million in federal aid has been set aside for the Blue Acres program, which allows the state to buy up homes in repetitive flood-prone areas and convert the area to open space.
As far as I can tell, these examples of prevention are few and far between.
The American Citizen article has a quote from Robert S. Young, a North Carolina geologist, that seems to sum it up:
“We’re Americans, damn it. Retreat is a dirty word.”
What are your thoughts about supporting rebuilding in disaster-prone areas using your tax dollars?