Hurricane Matthew a year ago didn't exceed 15 inches in North Carolina and delivered less than 10 inches in most places it drenched and yet flooded out whole communities. Congress is likely to reauthorize the insurance program before it expires September 30. "We can look at your elevations", said Fisher. "That will be the national flood insurance policy that you needed to purchase extra".
Tens of thousands of survivors are still living in shelters across the strike zone.
Instead, most expect Congress to simply pass a short-term extension of the flood insurance program ranging from three months to a year. Estimates are that 80 percent of the resulting losses are not covered by flood insurance.
The program subsidizes development there by transferring the costs away from current developers and property owners and to either future owners or taxpayers. Conservatives have voiced concerns that the insurance program has about $25 billion of debt, while Democrats say the Republicans' plan to allow private-market plans would be more expensive for homeowners.
The SBA loans offer interest rates at 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters, which is much lower than most banks or credit cards, and give homeowners the ability to pay them back over 30 years.
Rising sea levels in the coming years could also change the face of the coast and who ends up in high risk areas.
Agents said it's important for everyone to have insurance, not just if you live in a flood zone, because you never know what can happen.
"Have to go through it and not have insurance", Dickinson resident Bauwana Donohue said.
The headlines from Houston speak to hard-hit neighborhoods inundated with Hurricane Harvey floodwaters and untold numbers of homes with no flood insurance outside of recognized floodplain areas. "And we're on the verge of that happening now".
FEMA periodically redraws flood-risk maps, moving some homes from mandatory-carry areas to a less-risky category. "Where a normal insurance company would jack up the premium price to cover the high risk of floodplain construction, thus discouraging vulnerable building plans among those who can not afford to cover the cost of disaster, the NFIP will insure this construction at a discount", Bonnie Kristian writes. When communities don't participate, it means their residents and business owners can not buy federal flood insurance and are thus ineligible for a federally backed loan. According to MDE's Kevin Wagner, "Floods don't follow map boundaries".
Understand what NFIP covers: Flood insurance under NFIP is created to help homeowners deal with the financial consequences of flooding but it can differ from typical homeowner's insurance policies.
"It did just enough damage that we had to knock out walls", Micky Hartz told ABC News after the flood, when they turned to the ABC News Fixer for help with their claim. Like many residents, she hired an adjuster and an attorney to challenge the damage estimate. Only about $6.5 billion to $9.5 billion of those costs will be covered by insurers.
With improved mapping technology and a rise in premiums, insurance companies are now starting to think, "maybe we can write this and compete with the federal government", said Don Griffin, a vice president with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.