It's not exactly the words of encouragement ocean-side homeowners might have hoped for. The presidential task force charged with coming up with a strategy for rebuilding areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy today revealed 69 policy initiatives, the theme of which can be summed up thusly: Plan for things to get worse. With an eye on climate change and rising sea levels, the report by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force explains that coastal communities should assume floods are going to happen more frequently and realize that spending more now on protective measures could save money later, reports the AP.
"Simply building back to outdated standards and expecting better outcomes" is no longer an option, reads the report, whose recommendations ranged from relaxing eligibility requirements related to the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program to revising federal mortgage policies so homeowners can get insurance checks faster. Depressingly, it found no simple solution to a huge problem: flood insurance. Many thousands of people who live in low-lying areas will likely see huge premium increases if they don't lift their homes up on pilings. The task force acknowledged that both options will be unaffordable for many homeowners; it recommended further study of the issue. (Read more Hurricane Sandy stories.)