To The Courier-Post:

Clarksville is just one of the many communities in Missouri that hug the mighty Mississippi River, but our community is no less vibrant than any other. Like many small towns, we have our share of problems. But the one problem that figuratively plunges us under the water is when we are literally plunged under the water. Flooding is a constant risk to our community, which is why we rely on the protections of the National Flood Insurance Program to help us out in case of a disaster. Without the payments of national flood insurance, Clarksville would have died years ago. We rely on the NFIP, which is why Congress should not delay the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0.

NFIP operates a bit like insurance: it calculates premiums based on risk, and pays out when policyholders file claims after a flood. But NFIP risk assessment has remained the same for over 50 years. This has led to millions of Americans overpaying for premiums that end up being inaccurate indicators of risk. Meanwhile, NFIP is currently insolvent: it borrows more money from the U.S. Treasury and taxpayers than it receives in premiums.

Risk Rating 2.0 changes this imbalance by including considerations for risk not previously calculated. Risk Rating 2.0 is a more precise approach for FEMA to match rates to risk. The new methodology will help communities become better prepared for storms and floods, and it is more transparent and accurate. Relying on 21st century science and technology, RR2.0 is a modern solution for an ongoing problem. For the sake of communities like Clarksville, RR2.0 should be implemented as soon as possible to bring NFIP on the path to solvency and to stop the overpayment of premiums by thousands of communities.

Mayor Jo Anne Smiley

Clarksville, Mo.

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