Stop FEMA Now seeks revisions to the National Flood Insurance Program
With the National Flood Insurance Program up for renewal at the end of the month, the group Stop FEMA Now is holding a two-day re authorization conference beginning tomorrow in Washington D.C. to encourage change.
Stop FEMA Now founder George Kasimos of Seaside Park says making revisions is critical five-years post-Sandy, and in the middle of another active hurricane season.
He feels the NFIP is in debt because of mismanagement by FEMA.
"We have to make this program have less overhead," said Kasimos. "I mean, a private insurer has half as much overhead, billions every year. We would save a billion dollars a year in less overhead if it were a private company."
However he says many private companies don't have the necessary financial support to compete with the NFIP.
Kasimos says the conference includes a meeting with Congress on Wednesday to press that the new version needs to be more effective.
"We need to get this right this time," said Kasimos. "They've been kicking this can down the road for a long time."
He says they have a two-part approach in hope of convincing FEMA and lawmakers to make the changes they would like to see.
"We're trying to, A, keep flood insurance premiums affordable, but, B, the flood insurance program never paid us out and there was a lot of fraud and underpayment," said Kasimos. "We want to fix that. We want to reform that."
Kasimos says flood insurance reform isn't just a New Jersey issue, it's a national one and a large number of Americans need help.
"There are 22,000 flood-zone communities across the country and five-million flood policy holders," said Kasimos. "If we all get together and speak as one voice, this is an easy problem to solve."
He says storm victims need more aid to be able to afford raising their homes.
"So people can get their homes out of harm's way, so that they don't continue to re-flood," said Kasimos.
Kasimos says in most cases some people only get $30-thousand to raise their home, but it costs between $150-and-$200-thousand so they hope to up the amount to at least $100-thousand.
Among the issues up for discussion at the conference will be:
- Providing a cap on premiums
- Community Mitigation vs. Individual House Raising
- FEMA Debt Forgiveness
- Increasing policy limits
- NFIP claim should include rental assistance
- NFIP to abide by State Insurance Laws, strip federal immunity
- FEMA recoupment should be limited to 24 months caused by FEMA mistake, unless fraudulent
- Appeals process to be implemented
For a complete list of discussion points and a list of conference activities and the agenda, head over to their website.
Kasimos says all are invited to join them in Washington D.C. but if you can't make it, it'll be streamed LIVE on their Facebook page.
Whether or not you can attend the conference, he says you're welcome to join their group and learn more about what it is they do but emailing them with your name, location and number to StopFemaNow@gmail.com.
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