Congressmen Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond today fought back against FEMA's NFIP premium rate increase misinformation and demanded that FEMA work with state and local officials as it implements changes to the program and new Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
"As FEMA develops and implements new flood rate maps, it is critical that they work with state and local officials to ensure that the impact on policy holders is given a high priority," Scalise said. "If these premium adjustments are not administered fairly, it could force thousands of Louisiana families to drop their flood insurance, or in some cases, even lose their homes because of the sheer cost of flood insurance. I strongly agree with local officials that FEMA should take into consideration non-federal flood protection systems when determining flood elevations and risk. It is important that Louisiana families have access to a fair and affordable flood insurance program."
"FEMA's recent miscommunication of details regarding their new Flood Insurance Rate Maps was terribly irresponsible and has resulted in devastating consequences for homeowners in my district, especially those residing on the West Bank of St. Charles Parish," Rep. Cedric Richmond said. "NFIP policy holders have every right to be frustrated, concerned and wary of FEMA's competence regarding this program. It is vitally important that Louisianans have access to an insurance program at fair and affordable rates. I urge Administrator Fugate to look closely at the consequences of FEMA's actions in this community."
In a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Scalise and Richmond specifically asked that FEMA:
· Take into consideration non-federal flood protection systems when determining flood risk.
· Give residents a realistic timeline for implementation of new maps and the premium that residents can expect to pay over the next five (5) years.
· Immediately undertake a sustained public awareness campaign to reconcile misinformation distributed by FEMA thus far.