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FEMA wants you to look at your driver’s license: “If it says Florida, you need flood insurance”

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Miami streets were under water when Hurricane Irma hit. And less-severe flooding is already routine.
By Zoë Schlanger
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency official had a frank message for Floridians at an insurance conference, the Miami Herald reports.

Roy Wright, who oversees FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, said Floridians should look at their driver’s licenses, rather than bother with flood zone maps. “If it says Florida, you need flood insurance,” Roy Wright said in Miami Beach on March 5. “It may be more helpful than trying to find the right map.”

FEMA’s flood insurance program covers nearly three times as many policies in Florida than in any other US state. Most of the state’s coastal communities are predicted to be underwater by 2100, and Miami Beach is already flooding regularly. With storms like Hurricane Irma battering the state with more intensity thanks to climate change, flood insurance seems like a really good idea.

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