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Oahu Flood Risk Survey results
By News Release @ 1:22 PM :: 298 Views :: Honolulu County

City and County of Honolulu shares O‘ahu Flood Risk Survey results 

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, June 7, 2024

OʻAHU – The City and County of Honolulu conducted the Oʻahu Flood Risk Survey between February and March 2024 to better understand residents’ awareness of flood risk, knowledge of flood insurance, and experience with flooding events. More than 1,000 residents participated, and a summary of survey results is now available at www.resilientoahu.org/getfloodready, along with information residents can use to prepare for flood events. 

The results will inform enhanced City outreach and education to improve community flood awareness and resilience island-wide, including the benefits of flood insurance.

Some important findings include:

  • One in three residents reported having first- or second-hand experience with flooding, but only one out of five currently have flood insurance.
  • The majority of respondents have homeowners insurance (82%) and hurricane insurance (59%). However, the vast majority are not aware of the gaps in coverage between these insurances and flood insurance, as certain types of water damage are not covered under homeowners or hurricane insurance.
  • For those who are not required to have flood insurance, the primary reason many residents did not have flood insurance was they perceived their property was at low risk to flooding.

“We heard directly from the community that they are concerned about flooding and want to know more about flood insurance and other ways to mitigate their risk,” said Sarah Harris, hazard mitigation and long-term disaster recovery program manager of the Mayor’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. “Thanks to funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Cooperating Technical Partnership Program, we are excited to turn the community’s input into action by creating long-standing, targeted educational resources.”

Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of storms that contribute to potentially dangerous and damaging floods. In May, Oʻahu experienced a strong storm system that prompted flash flood warnings and localized flooding on the Windward side. That storm was quickly followed by an unusually late-season Kona low — the latest recorded Kona low in more than 20 years — that brought heavy rains, thunderstorms and localized flooding.

The City has taken great strides to both increase community flood resilience and maintain affordability of flood insurance. In 2021, the City proactively sought participation in and was accepted to the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. As a result of current practices and this ongoing annual effort, flood insurance policy holders benefit with a 10 percent reduction on annual flood insurance premiums.

—PAU—

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