I have seen this same attitude, deliberate blindness to the likelihood of natural disasters, elsewhere. When I lived in California and forest fires had burned down homes or mudslides had wiped away sub-divisions, the former home owners would ALWAYS be quoted as saying, bedraggled but defiant, that they would rebuild. Why? I would ask myself. And here we are in the same position with a slight variant. The Feds provide subsidized Flood Insurance to allow us to have mortgages in this slightly absurd recreational market in the Keys. This isn't a place where farms will be maintained or factories will be rebuilt. Some of us eke out a living serving visitors in hotels and bars and the rest of us make a decent living working for government agencies. The rest live on private incomes ("Blessings" for those that think Lazarus was the rich man). By defying the Feds, flood insurance will be canceled and mortgages will be unsustainable, thus only blessed persons will be able to buy and live here. End of story.
In an effort to democratize the demands against the Federal Emergency Management Agency the story goes that the enclosure law prevents the poor from finding affordable homes in the Keys. Enclosures help buyers pay their mortgages and allow people to rent modest apartments in the most expensive housing market in the State (most expensive comparing wages to costs. Palm Beach prices will make even a Keys resident's eyes water). That may be true but curiously there is no drive to limit Trailer Park conversions and downstairs enclosures carry a certain level of risk to the structural integrity of the homes involved. In it's copious newspaper advertising Serfs Not Citizens claims the recent 9 percent drop in population in the Keys is due to the enclosure restrictions, which does not take into account the fact that other ads also berate FEMA for not enforcing the law consistently. I suggest the lack of living wage jobs has forced people out, not the absence of potential garage conversion apartments. On top of that, increasing the population of the Keys will increase hurricane evacuation times and like them or not those times are used to limit growth on lots not yet built. So lets have more garage conversions and fewer new homes. Very Marxist I'm sure.
But wait, there's more. Those of us that have lived through the inevitable hurricane story know perfectly well there will be disasters and when they come people will line up with their hands held out expecting the Feds to make it right, and bitching horribly when it takes too long. Already our socialized housing insurance in Florida, called Citizens, is grossly underfunded to face major hurricane damage but here in the Keys, land of the Comfortable Fantasy, there is a component that is ready to take on the Feds and demand they act in a totally unbusinesslike way and give us something for nothing. I stand on the sidelines and marvel.