Guys, the “combo deal” is literally exactly what we already have for public facilities. We don’t just throw money at places to rebuild exactly as they were before. You can also do hazard mitigation, relocation, an alternate project… maybe educate yourselves on what the assistance IS before you start trying to figure out how it should change?
As for private residences… most people think FEMA pays for a lot more than they actually do. This is why everyone gets pissed at FEMA when a flood takes out their house and they end up only getting $5k. The national flood insurance program charges by risk level, and high risk areas already have to pay a lot… and if you’re in a special flood hazard area and you DON’T have insurance, FEMA will still treat you like you did. Because you were required to.
Objectively, everyone should relocate out of flood plains and other at-risk areas. Practically, a lot of people can’t without help. And, SURPRISE, there ARE relocation programs to try to get people out of some of these flood plains (along the Mississippi river, for instance), but they are logistically difficult because it’s not just a matter of buying someone’s house… you have to relocate entire towns and the industries that employ these people, too.
Basically, whether to rebuild (and make resiliency upgrades) comes down to cost-benefit analysis, and you might be surprised at the astronomical cost of the alternative. How much do you think relocating 3.5 Puerto Ricans would cost, long term? How about 6.5 million southeastern Texans?