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Relatively few homes hit by Harvey have flood insurance. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

How flood insurance works: 6 questions answered

The federal government created a program in 1968 to insure homes in the US from flooding, yet few of the houses hammered by Harvey's record rainfall were covered.
Phil Noble/Reuters

Why do flood defences fail?

We accept the risks of flooding because the costs of making our towns and cities flood-proof are too high.
There are more resilient ways to build in vulnerable areas. Resilient Collective Housing', New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design studio project by Taryn Wefer and Naomi Patel. Instructors: Keith Krumwiede and Martina Decker

We need to change how and where we build to be ready for a future of more extreme weather

The climate is changing. Development patterns that have hardly served us well in the past certainly won't serve us well in the future. Now is the time to adapt.
This can, and will, happen again. Steve Parsons/PA

MP’s focus on dredging and defences will not prevent floods

The record rainfall and persistent storms of winter 2013-14 caused serious flooding throughout the southwest of England, with breached defences, loss and damage to agricultural land, homes and businesses…
‘Don’t worry, I’ve got hold of the plug.’ Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Upstream must work with downstream to fix flooding

With much of the UK still underwater and flooding set to continue, knee jerk reactions abound. Politicians bicker, flooded communities and farmers lobby their causes and calls are made to dredge rivers…
Sometimes the choice is to flood town or country. Sometimes it’s both. Ben Birchall/PA

Total flood defence is a myth: we must learn to live with the water

Floods happen. Rivers have always inundated their floodplains and the sea has always tried to reclaim land that has been taken from it. This is certainly true in Somerset, whose name derives from the Old…

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