Short Wave: Undisclosed - Fire And Flood Risk In The United States

There have been many climate-related disasters this year, and along with those events come a heavy emotional and financial toll for residents.

But what NPR climate reporters Rebecca Hersher and Lauren Sommer have found is that most people don’t realize their wildfire or flood risk — and that’s putting millions in harm’s way.

In most parts of the U.S., landlords, real estate agents, sellers, appraisers and home inspectors are not required to tell tenants or buyers about flood or fire risk before they move in. None were required to do so. In fact, only about half of states require that information about flood risk be disclosed to homebuyers at all, and just one state requires that such information be given to tenants. Meanwhile, only two Western states require disclosure of wildfire risk.

What’s more, a growing body of research suggests that the flood and fire disclosure laws that do exist provide information in confusing ways or give too little information too late in the homebuying process.

But there are things you can do to check your risk and make yourself safer:


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