Flood-Prepared Communities
Project

Flood-Prepared Communities

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., significantly affecting homes, businesses, infrastructure, and the environment. Since 2000, flood-related disasters in the U.S. accounted for more than $850 billion in damage and losses.

Pew aims to reduce these impacts by improving policies and planning at the federal and state levels to:

  • Enhance pre-disaster mitigation: Directing more resources toward and increasing the use of proactive approaches, such as removing properties from flood-prone areas, increasing green space, and restoring and protecting flood plains, will limit the effects and cost of floods.
  • Ensure infrastructure is flood-ready: Updating the nation’s roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure to better withstand future flood events will help improve community resilience and reduce taxpayer losses.
  • Establish flood-resilient states: Systematic planning and adoption of nature-based solutions to address flood risks will reduce the severity of floods, boost states’ ability to withstand future storms, and lower disaster costs.
  • Modernize federal flood insurance: Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program to reflect current and future threats; remove incentives for development in flood-prone areas; and break the costly cycle of flooding, damage, and repair will help the program better meet its goals of lowering federal spending on disaster response and rebuilding.
Jim Stipe (left), Public Works Director of Swansboro, North Carolina, and a Town of Swansboro employee plant a rain garden at the city’s Town Hall.
Jim Stipe (left), Public Works Director of Swansboro, North Carolina, and a Town of Swansboro employee plant a rain garden at the city’s Town Hall.
Article

Nature-Based Solutions for Flooding in North Carolina

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North Carolina, like many states, has seen an increase in heavy rainfall events. In fact, 2020 was the state’s second-wettest year on record, with more intense and frequent rainstorms that inundated neighborhoods, damaged infrastructure, and disrupted local economies across the Tar Heel State.

Our Work

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Article

Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk

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Since 2000, floods have cost the United States more than $845 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The expense of adapting to more frequent and severe storms is projected to rise over the next several decades, placing a premium on the need to take action now to reduce the impacts of future floods.

It's Time to Make U.S. Infrastructure Flood-Ready