United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Nov 28, 2023
The Congress finds that (1) from time to time flood disasters have created personal hardships and economic distress which have required unforeseen disaster relief measures and have placed an increasing burden on the Nation’s resources; (2) despite the installation of preventive and protective works and the adoption of other public programs designed to reduce losses caused by flood damage, these methods have not been sufficient to protect adequately against growing exposure to future flood losses; (3) as a matter of national policy, a reasonable method of sharing the risk of flood losses is through a program of flood insurance which can complement and encourage preventive and protective measures; and (4) if such a program is initiated and carried out gradually, it can be expanded as knowledge is gained and experience is appraised, thus eventually making flood insurance coverage available on reasonable terms and conditions to persons who have need for such protection.
The Congress also finds that (1) many factors have made it uneconomic for the private insurance industry alone to make flood insurance available to those in need of such protection on reasonable terms and conditions; but (2) a program of flood insurance with large-scale participation of the Federal Government and carried out to the maximum extent practicable by the private insurance industry is feasible and can be initiated.
The Congress further finds that (1) a program of flood insurance can promote the public interest by providing appropriate protection against the perils of flood losses and encouraging sound land use by minimizing exposure of property to flood losses; and (2) the objectives of a flood insurance program should be integrally related to a unified national program for flood plain management and, to this end, it is the sense of Congress that within two years following the effective date of this chapter the President should transmit to the Congress for its consideration any further proposals necessary for such a unified program, including proposals for the allocation of costs among beneficiaries of flood protection.
It is therefore the purpose of this chapter to (1) authorize a flood insurance program by means of which flood insurance, over a period of time, can be made available on a nationwide basis through the cooperative efforts of the Federal Government and the private insurance industry, and (2) provide flexibility in the program so that such flood insurance may be based on workable methods of pooling risks, minimizing costs, and distributing burdens equitably among those who will be protected by flood insurance and the general public.
It is the further purpose of this chapter to (1) encourage State and local governments to make appropriate land use adjustments to constrict the development of land which is exposed to flood damage and minimize damage caused by flood losses, (2) guide the development of proposed future construction, where practicable, away from locations which are threatened by flood hazards, (3) encourage lending and credit institutions, as a matter of national policy, to assist in furthering the objectives of the flood insurance program, (4) assure that any Federal assistance provided under the program will be related closely to all flood-related programs and activities of the Federal Government, and (5) authorize continuing studies of flood hazards in order to provide for a constant reappraisal of the flood insurance program and its effect on land use requirements.
The Congress also finds that (1) the damage and loss which results from mudslides is related in cause and similar in effect to that which results directly from storms, deluges, overflowing waters, and other forms of flooding, and (2) the problems involved in providing protection against this damage and loss, and the possibilities for making such protection available through a Federal or federally sponsored program, are similar to those which exist in connection with efforts to provide protection against damage and loss caused by such other forms of flooding. It is therefore the further purpose of this chapter to make available, by means of the methods, procedures, and instrumentalities which are otherwise established or available under this chapter for purposes of the flood insurance program, protection against damage and loss resulting from mudslides that are caused by accumulations of water on or under the ground.