Lack of flood insurance exposes Californians to risks from atmospheric rivers
In California, the recent atmospheric rivers reveal a critical gap in flood insurance coverage.
- Only a quarter of homes in California's flood hazard zones have flood insurance, leaving many unprotected against atmospheric river storms.
- High insurance costs and "disaster fatigue" contribute to low coverage rates.
- The situation is worsened by climate change, which intensifies atmospheric river storms, increasing the risk of flooding.
"Disaster fatigue is a real thing. People wear out hearing they’re going to die from earthquakes, fires, and floods, and they get numb, and they don’t take actions to protect themselves."
— Jeffrey Mount, senior fellow, Public Policy Institute of California.
Why this matters:
This issue highlights the intersection of climate change, economic challenges, and public policy. It underscores the need for more effective measures to ensure adequate protection for vulnerable populations against the increasing risks of extreme weather events.
Americans have sorted ourselves into communities defined by geography, demography, ideology. Does the the shared trauma of flooding offer an opening?