Floods and hurricanes are becoming more intense in Texas (United States of America), with about 400 floods occurring annually. As these events become more serious, the physical and economic damage to communities and the threats to human lives and ecosystems also increase. This paper presents the exposure of human life and private property, and critical infrastructure to flood risk in the State.
The report underlines that communities must prepare for weather-related catastrophes such as floods and hurricanes, and U.S. policymakers should consider reforms that improve protection and preparation, minimise disruptions to the economy, and reduce costs to the federal government and taxpayers by:
- increasing federal investment in proactive mitigation programs that help communities prepare for and reduce the risk of floods;
- improving resilience and durability requirements for infrastructure that is rebuilt after disasters;
- protecting ecosystems, such as wetlands, salt marshes, and dunes, which can absorb storm impacts and help shield property;
- reforming the National Flood Insurance Program to better communicate actual risk, break the cycle of repeated loss and rebuilding in the most flood-prone areas, and provide incentives to compel communities and homeowners to prepare in advance of floods.