10 Facts About Floods in the USA: Are You in Danger?
Natural disasters are on the rise across the nation. From hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and blizzards, no corner of the country is safe from these increasingly frequent occurrences. Floods are no exception to the rule. They’re becoming more prevalent by the year, leaving countless Americans in potential danger. If you’re concerned about flooding and the hazards it may pose to your family, take a look at the following facts and figures to learn more.
1) Floods are Everywhere
While some places are more prone to flooding than others, no location is immune to them. They can happen virtually anywhere due to heavy rains, melting snow, hurricanes, and other causes. They’re the most common natural disaster in the country. Keep that in mind that, if you’re looking for new insurance to cover the possible damages, standard homeowner’s insurance generally doesn’t cover the damage caused by floods.
2) Storms are Becoming More Intense
We’ve already mentioned that storms are growing more frequent.Reports also show that they’re getting more severe. In fact, over the last five decades, storms have grown at an alarming rate, and they’re causing more damage than ever before. Analysts expect severe weather events to grow even more intense and destructive during the years to come.
3) Costs Are Surging
Because of the excessive damage from flooding, the costs of rebuilding and repairs are on the rise as well. They’ve soared from $6 billion just a decade ago to more than $10 billion today.
4) Levees Aren’t Always Effective
Several levee systems have been put into place in some of America’s most flood-prone areas. Though they can help thwart flooding, they can’t stop it altogether. They’ve been known to fail.
5) The Nation’s High-Risk Flood Zone is Vast
About 17 percent of the nation’s urban land is located in a high-risk flood zone. People who live in those areas should give serious thought to acquiring flood insurance. Doing so will protect them against all the potential risks.
6) Floodplains are Life Sources
Floodplains may sound frightening. In a sense, they are because of their frequent flooding. On the other hand, they’re teeming with life. They also provide clean water and foster wildlife in their surrounding areas.
7) Floods are Deadly
In 1995, 80 people lost their lives to floods. In 2015, that number almost doubled. After a brief downturn, the number of people killed in floods rose back to 92 in 2019, the last year for which information has been made publicly available.
8) Wetlands Help Prevent Flooding
Wetlands are nature’s sponges. They soak up flood waters and release them slowly after the fact. They’ve prevented an estimated $30 billion in damages each year by simply doing what they were meant to do.
9) The Odds Are Against Us
Based on the latest reports, floods are now more likely than house fires. People living in high-risk flood zones have a one-in-four chance of their homes being damaged or lost to flooding.
10) Flood Mitigation Is Cost Effective
Studies show that flood-proofing efforts are both effective and financially beneficial. They can generate $5 in benefits for every dollar people spend to protect themselves and their homes against the dangers of flooding.
Preparing for the Worst
Most people prefer to hope for the best. Still, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. There’s a good chance many of us will be affected by flooding during the years to come. Protective measures like flood-proofing and insurance coverage can help mitigate the risks as well as the potential costs.