The Risks of Hazard is cruising into the holiday season like all blogs, by piggy-backing on old work. And there is no better way to recycle blogs than to do Top 3 lists! Without any ado at all, here are the top 3 blogs from the last three months.
#3: These three blogs have 2 main themes, the first of which is the role of the building industry plays in flood risk exposure. As might be expected, builders are keen to build. Less expected might be the fact that they are keen to build in known floodplains.
#2: The second of the main themes is (surprise of surprises) Harvey’s impact on South Texas. Interesting, the #2 blog took a look at how the damage in Houston from Harvey was not as bad as the media coverage made it appear. It seems the new term we coined for this effect, “Negativity Amplification”, made sense to more people than we expected.
#1: The top Risks of Hazard blog post from Q4 hit on both of the main themes: builders AND Harvey in South Texas. Specifically, we took a look at a family in The Woodlands whose house was built in a floodplain (but deemed to be out of the floodplain because they raised the ground level by 10 inches). Quoth the builder:“Flooding is not even a possibility”. Yes, that is what the builder told the purchasing family in a part of the country that floods every year. The blog and the original article in the NYT, really resonated because they were able to illustrate a variety of aspects of the current flood insurance set-up that are deeply flawed: the influence builders have on the perception of flood risk, the concept that 10” of extra elevation can flip a property from “at risk” to “not at risk”, the confusion around BFEs and flood depths, the impact on families and livelihoods of flooding, and how important it is to get flood insurance right. In a way, this blog post was the quintessential Risks of Hazard post: a combination of technical data, advocacy for better insurance, and the protection gap.
Happy holidays from the whole team at Risks of Hazard!