Write and Respond 2

To the question of feeling more knowledgeable about a particular issue, I could honestly answer in many different ways. Walking into this class on the first day of classes, my knowledge of sustainability as a whole was extremely limited. My very brief knowledge came mainly from biased media and word of mouth. This is extremely unfortunate because these are issues that need to be understood if we are going to make drastically needed changes to preserve our world. Although this is considered a math class, the knowledge I will remember and take with me will be less about formulas and equations and more about the human impact on the environment and how we need to change individually and as a population.

Specifically, the concept of flood insurance, which was introduced to the class in a guest lecture, was extremely eye-opening to me. Walking into the class with zero knowledge of flood insurance, I was shocked to see just how important it could be to people not only in flood zones but even people who do not live in areas commonly associated with heavy rain. Living in the middle of New Jersey, flooding has never been a huge concern growing up.  Although we had our fair share of storms, hurricanes were not a thought to anyone. Because of this, no one I knew ever talked about or had flood insurance. When Superstorm Sandy hit people were shocked and called it a “once in a lifetime” type of storm. Then barely a year later we were hit with Hurricane Irene. Hundreds of people were affected by both of these storms including my family even though we are considered a “minimal flood hazard zone” by FEMA, or Federal Emergency Management Agency. This just goes to show that anyone can be affected by flooding or natural disaster and everyone should be protected with flood insurance.

Currently, there are some issues with the insurance system now. Since it is all ran by one company, they control the price. This causes many people to think it is not worth it. If more people were informed of just how necessary it really was and made the purchase more companies would open causing prices to drop and the monopoly to be eliminated. This would create jobs and really help the people who need it pay for it while protecting many people who do not realize they could use it.

The best way to help people purchase the insurance is to make people more informed about it. Informing people about the benefits of having it will decrease the number of foreclosures on houses, decrease the cost to have own it, and overall save us money in the long run. Especially in the time we are in where we are seeing more and more natural disasters we need things like flood insurance now more than ever. Whether it is teaching about it in classes like we did here in Math 33, or if it is more advertisements and media uses to get the information out there, being proactive is not only smart but needed.

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6 Responses to Write and Respond 2

  1. kbm5300 says:

    Madi-

    I agree, the concept of flood insurance was pretty much a completely foreign concept to me and I certainly learned a lot of new things during that guest lecture. Similarly to yourself, I don’t live in an area which experiences a lot of flooding, especially because my house is slightly elevated compared to the area surrounding it. I think you bring up a good point about how there are some issues within the current insurance system, particularly how it consists of essentially one company which is able to control the price. I was a little confused by your reasoning behind more people becoming informed about the necessity of flood insurance therefore they would purchase life insurance and more insurance companies would open causing the monopoly to be eliminated. I’m not exactly sure if this is how it would work, although I think you are on the right track. I agree that educating people about flood insurance is very important, and I’m sure once people become more educated about it they may feel inclined to purchase the insurance if they feel it necessary. I think it’s necessary to put a lot of consideration into choosing a federal flood insurance program vs. a private flood insurance plan, as there are pros and cons for each which vary depending on different circumstances. I’m sure many people that don’t currently have flood insurance would benefit from getting educated about it and purchasing a plan that was appropriate for them, but obviously there are people living in certain areas that justify not having the insurance.

    Kevin McInerney

    • Lauren Elizabeth Jardine says:

      Hey Madi! As your neighbor from New York I can definitely relate to the shock of the damage done by the super storms from the last few years. Flood insurance was also something I was surprised that I didn’t know more about before this class consider how many of my friends and family members had water damages from Sandy in particular. One point you made that resonated with me was your comment about media being most people’s only source of information, because often times media can be very biased and “facts” are manipulated in a way to support one sources agenda. I think as citizens of Earth we all share the burden our Earth is facing from our actions and it is up to each of us to become educated as much as we can about what is truly going on and what needs to be done in order to stop further destruction of our home. It is up to all of us to find unbiased sources, sometimes that means staying away from news outlets and social media and finding studies that we can take straight facts from. I think we should have known about flood insurance but especially after those storms hit the issue of insurance wasn’t a hot topic to sell stories with and so media focused instead on destruction and so many people still didn’t know what they needed to about insurance when the next storm hit. Media is a fickle thing that hasn’t done its part to make people more aware of the danger this planet faces, and so it is up to us to inform ourselves if we ever want there to be change.

  2. ktn5078 says:

    Madi

    Coming from the rural western PA, I too was never concerned with flood insurance and never really understood what impact it had on a large percent of the United States population. I agree with you that there is a problem with how it is all ran, and that they control the price even when sometimes they themselves have to be bailed out by their owners. Flood insurance should be more accessible to those who need it, maybe by putting together a team of researchers to map out all the susceptible places to be flooded most likely and offering a different premium than those who shouldn’t need it. Whatever route is taken, this should not be an issue that the American citizens should have to be worried about, especially when it directly threatens where they live and how they live. Finally, I agree and think that the public should be more exposed to the need of flood insurance, especially those in high-risk areas.

    Kyle

  3. Lauren Elizabeth Jardine says:

    Hey Madi! As your neighbor from New York I can definitely relate to the shock of the damage done by the super storms from the last few years. Flood insurance was also something I was surprised that I didn’t know more about before this class consider how many of my friends and family members had water damages from Sandy in particular. One point you made that resonated with me was your comment about media being most people’s only source of information, because often times media can be very biased and “facts” are manipulated in a way to support one sources agenda. I think as citizens of Earth we all share the burden our Earth is facing from our actions and it is up to each of us to become educated as much as we can about what is truly going on and what needs to be done in order to stop further destruction of our home. It is up to all of us to find unbiased sources, sometimes that means staying away from news outlets and social media and finding studies that we can take straight facts from. I think we should have known about flood insurance but especially after those storms hit the issue of insurance wasn’t a hot topic to sell stories with and so media focused instead on destruction and so many people still didn’t know what they needed to about insurance when the next storm hit. Media is a fickle thing that hasn’t done its part to make people more aware of the danger this planet faces, and so it is up to us to inform ourselves if we ever want there to be change.

  4. eas5828 says:

    I, as well, did not know very much about sustainability before this class. I had never done my own research so everything I thought I knew came from unreliable sources, too. I agree that more people should be aware of issues surrounding sustainability in order for a significant change to happen. Learning about flood insurance was something I found interesting because I had never given it a thought before. I also thought it was just for those who were in areas prone to flooding. I think it is an important topic considering weather patterns are changing and more and more people could potentially be affected by flooding.

  5. Rose Gerber says:

    I found the flood insurance lecture eye opening as well! I never realized how important it is to take preventative steps BEORE the flooding. Especially with the rate of increase pertaining to global warming, I find it very important that we implement measures to prevent the damage of flooding before it happens.

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