Whether or not climate change, over which there is much deliberation, is having a serious impact on coastal areas and flood concerns remains a heated debate. As you might expect, political leaders in the Northeast have very different ideas about how to go about treating the damage to coastal properties ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

For some, the answer is to reduce development along exposed coasts while others believe it is okay to rebuild those homes and businesses. How we proceed from here could set important precedents for managing rising flood risk along the nation’s coasts, and could impact flood insurance in states like CT, NY, NJ and MA.

As a business owner, you should obviously be concerned about more frequent and intense extreme weather. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to buy back damaged coastal properties from homeowners willing to sell and preserve the land as undeveloped public spaces using funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Opposing this are New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, both of whom favor options that are more likely to keep homes and residents in place, rather than encourage movement away from the shore.

Similar flood concerns along coastal communities, such as Milford, CT, should have you factoring in future risk if the need to rebuild along these shorelines occurs. If climate change is indeed a factor, decisions on these matters will be important. With the southeastern coast of Connecticut being a magnet for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not hard to understand why more families and business owners are purchasing flood insurance CT to help safeguard their homes.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) saves US taxpayer millions of dollars every year, but the number of private insurance companies that offer flood insurance in CT is growing. The government backs many of those companies, and the ensuing threat of flooding due to climate change makes insurance a vital tool for property owners.

Coastal populations across the United States continue to grow (by nearly 35 million people between 1970 and 2010). Coastal shoreline counties account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s total population, and tend to be more densely packed than most inland areas.