Deborah Palmer let the flood-insurance policy on her Florida preschool lapse when it was forced to close during the pandemic two years ago and never gave it a thought. Until Hurricane Ian.
As the monster storm bore down on Florida’s western coast this week, the 71-year-old fled her home in Venice to shelter in the former school, situated in a less vulnerable neighborhood. While winds howled and rain thundered down, “I thought, ‘Great move, genius, dropping flood insurance when the biggest storm in a century is coming through,’” she said. “I really gambled.”