Many of the people who lost their homes after the hurricanes this summer did so due to the flooding. While the hurricane caused the flooding, many times that isn’t enough for homeowners insurance to actually cover the cost of the damage to a home.
People love to live on the beach despite the risks, which include “flooding or stepping on pointy sea shells, or mistakenly giving a Tostito to a seagull without realizing that means you’ll spend the rest of your life haunted by a Tostito-addicted seagull,” John Oliver said Sunday. Anyone choosing to live near the water runs the risk that they’ll end up being flooded at some point in their home ownership. Perhaps that’s why so many beach houses seem to be built on stilts.
“But while floods are often referred to as natural disasters, the truth is, the damage they do often, to some extent, within our control,” he explained, “because we have made certain decisions that put and keep people and property in the path of flooding. And that is what this story is about.” To make matters worse, municipalities are choosing to pave over naturally absorbent areas that could have easily soaked in the flood waters if a highway wasn’t in its place.
According to Oliver, anyone who purchased their home using a federal home loan is insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The whole purpose of the program was to lessen the cost of disaster relief.
When it was crafted in the 1960’s, it was supposed to simply be a temporary fix for families. The hope was people would move away from flood-prone areas because it puts their lives and property at risk. Instead, cities like Miami are seeing a huge housing boom as ocean waters are slowly creeping up to city roads. As former Vice President Al Gore said in his updated documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” we need to look no further than Miami for proof of sea levels rising.
Floods have hit the same areas so frequently that the federal government is now in a position that they’re forced to repair the same home over and over again. They consider them “repetitive loss properties,” and admittedly, some of them are often second homes of wealthy people seen on HGTV trying to find the perfect place on the beach. Oliver showed a clip of two brothers looking at a home on the beach. One brother had concerns, so the other brother replied, “that’s what insurance is for.”
Today, people aren’t using the NFIP to move to higher ground and rebuild their lives. In large part because, “that’s not how people work,” Oliver said. In fact, “huge risks to our personal safety for the sake of a discount — that was the entire premise behind the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.”
The program’s incentives and execution need to be retooled, Oliver explained. “For insurance companies, the bigger the disaster, the more they stand to profit,” and only a few houses will get a “shockingly big chunk” of the program’s benefits.
Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier
Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.
The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.
The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.
UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report
At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.
Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.
There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.
The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.
Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report
Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.
A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.