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It baffles me how people continue to live in a flood plain and then expect the government to pay to clean up after a flood. The solution to Midwest flooding is not better levies, is not a better FEMA, is not faster response, is not halting “global warming”, but to either stop living there or to get smarter about the way buildings are constructed.

First off, my condolences go out to the families who have lost a loved one or their property. I know this is a difficult time for you. I do not wish to seem like I am insensitive to your current plight. I know many of you have lived through floods before. I am sure it never gets easier. However, I prefer to see things from a futurist perspective. If you see a problem, fix it the right way.

With that said, if people choose to live in a flood plain, it should be their responsibility to construct their property to withstand floodwater damage. There are two alternatives; raise structures onto stilts or as create amphibious buildings that will float when the river plain rises.

This is not a new concept and I had written about it previously in my post on Innovating the Future with Amphibious Homes. I find the amphibious solution to be the most attractive because for most of the time the home is on the ground. A building on stilts would be too challenging for anyone with a physical disability. Even something as minor as arthritic hips or knees would make it difficult to walk up a flight of stairs.

I realize this will do nothing for the farms that are facing a total crop loss for this year. Looking down the road, my best recommendation is to ask them not to plant in a predicted flood year. They could have save their money and give their land a break every fifteen or so years. The timing for such an endeavor is trickier than it sounds, but right now it is the best I can come up with.

While the local, state and federal government gets busy with another clean up, perhaps someone in legislature will think to revise building codes to facilitate living in a flood plain. Either insist people conform to the smarter building codes or they should shoulder the responsibility for damages themselves. Remember, they call it a flood plain because it floods there! So make the choice now; move to higher ground or get smart about your structures ability to withstand whatever nature has in store for her.