Ed Wolff, president of Beth Wolff REALTORS®, understands the heartbreak of losing a home and belongings to devastating floods, as well as the resilience required to recover. Wolff's home has flooded three times, most recently from Hurricane Harvey. Wolff has become a leading expert on residential flooding and continued to advocate for flood safety and reform in 2019.
He says Houston has rebounded from past flooding and taken steps to mitigate future damage while noting that some neighborhoods were better after being rebuilt. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Wolff said, "I think the lesson learned is that Houston recovers better than most cities. It's really about the community and the people around you."
Wolff advises people thinking about moving to the Houston area to check the elevation of a property they are considering and whether the area has been impacted by a hurricane in the past. He says one of the most important lessons of Hurricane Harvey was that anywhere in the Greater Houston area can be impacted by a major storm and that all homeowners should have flood insurance, even if their homes are outside a 100- or 500-year floodplain.
Wolff has met many people who didn't buy flood insurance because it wasn't required and who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of Hurricane Harvey. He notes that flood insurance is least expensive for people who are not required to purchase it.