“Over 5.5 million flood insurance policyholders nationwide will be socked with huge annual premiums, making their homes unaffordable and virtually unsellable,” asserted George Kasimos, founder of Stop FEMA Now. “That’s why we’re joining with other citizens’ organizations to raise our voices on September 28th. Outdoor rallies will be held in several states -- so that we get the attention of Congress.”
“Washington, we have a problem!” he said. “Until the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act that empowers FEMA is fixed, we’re not going to go away quietly.”
Stop FEMA Now has thousands of members and supporters at the New Jersey shore. It held several meetings in coastal towns that attracted hundreds of people. Kasimos, a Sandy flood victim who started the grassroots group in January, has addressed similar organizations' meetings in New York and North Jersey.
That led to Stop FEMA Now’s affiliation with groups from Long Island to Louisiana, where millions of other homeowners have been adversely affected by FEMA’s new rules and the expenses of compliance.
“We will hold simultaneous rallies at 12 noon on September 28th,” Kasimos said. “When people in the Midwest and West Coast realize that gigantic premium increases will impact them, they'll organize rallies too.”
Outdoor protests will be held in Seaside Park and Toms River, NJ; Staten Island, Babylon and Broad Channel, NY, and several other locations to be announced shortly.
Kasimos’ group has called for Congressional hearings on “the many problems with Biggert-Waters and the National Flood Insurance Program’s unaffordable new premiums.” It stated that the high annual costs “effectively compel the elevation of existing homes, an expense of $50,000 each and often much more.” The premiums – as much as $20,000 per year – are aimed at repaying the federal agency’s multi-billion-dollar Hurricane Katrina debt, but “they will lead to mass home abandonments and foreclosures from coast to coast.”
Stop FEMA Now has asked both elected officials and opposition candidates to “support crucial reforms that will protect almost 25 per cent of Americans for years to come.” Among related issues, it has called for construction of adequate dunes, seawalls and levees, which can reduce insurance premiums.
“The Biggert-Waters Act is an ongoing disaster that can cause more damage than any storm ever did. September 28th will be the start of national collective action to make Congress correct that misguided legislation,” Kasimos concluded.
More information is on the organization’s website, StopFemaNow.com.