According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are the most common natural disasters in the United States. Since its inception in 1973, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid almost $40 billion in flood claims, and the losses keep mounting. In 2011 alone, damages from the Mississippi and Missouri River floods, Tropical Storm Lee, and Hurricane Irene were estimated at over $14 billion. Experts already have predicted losses of $3.53 billion for 2012. Read More.