Nicole Gelinas and Brian Anderson discuss recent disaster-relief efforts in the United States, the federal government’s role in such assistance, and how national flood insurance and other recovery programs could be reformed.

Since 2005, Washington has spent nearly $300 billion on disaster recovery, with state and local governments spending billions more. This figure doesn’t even include last year’s devastating storm season, which ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Federal and local authorities should concentrate the bulk of their spending on the infrastructure necessary to limit storm damage, and on immediate relief after storms have struck. Right now, however, the majority of disaster-relief expenditure goes toward repairing flooded properties after hurricanes—a task better left to the private sector.

Read Nicole Gelinas’s story, “Storm Surge,” in the Winter 2018 issue of City Journal.

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Published in: Domestic Policy, Podcasts

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  1. Joe D. Inactive
    Joe D.
    @JosephDornisch

    Where am I in the Florida keys, new homes are mostly required to be built in an elevated fashion, and wind resistant materials must be used for windows and doors. Sure there are still a bunch of homes that predate these rules, but I don’t know how much developers are encouraged to build and fast and loose fashions.

    • #1
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