Great Issues—Miller Center

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Great Issues: Scholarship in the Public Interest

More from Scott Knowles


Reforming Flood Insurance - In 2012, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was passed in an attempt to reform and extend the National Flood Insurance Program. In 2014, the Grimm-Waters Insurance Affordability Act was signed to delay parts of Biggert-Waters. Scott Knowles describes the development of these reforms in the broader context of the changes to flood insurance after Hurricane Katrina.

The All Hazards Approach - Scott Knowles explains the emergence of the all hazards paradigm, how emergency management has evolved, and how it will need to adapt to a changing climate.

The Disaster Science Policy Action Gap - There is often a disjuncture, or gap, between the scientific knowledge that exists about the risks we take and the will to create policies that address those risks. Scott Knowles explains that within the last twenty years there has been a widening of this gap.

The Emergence of the National Flood Insurance Program - After World War II, coastal development increased exponentially in the United States, leading to increased prices for flood insurance. Despite decades of attempts to create a subsidized flood insurance policy, it wasn’t until Lyndon Johnson ordered a study into the science of floodplain management that the National Flood Insurance program was launched in 1969. Although it experienced a rocky start, throughout the 1970s and 1980s the demand for flood insurance skyrocketed.

The Role of Policy History - After a disaster occurs, there is often an impetus to learn lessons very quickly. However, Scott Knowles argues that we need to develop a different time scale, focusing instead on a longer memory in the wake of disasters.