flood-photoThe head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said people who buy federal flood insurance need to plan for big rate hikes. FEMA Director Craig Fugate said some people now paying hundreds of dollars a year could wind up paying thousands because Congress has said the program must at least pay for itself.

He said this week at the National Hurricane Conference that the increases will be phased in over three to four years.

At the same meeting, the National Hurricane Center’s Rick Knabb said the center will start providing three more days of notice about where tropical systems are likely to develop for the hurricane season that starts June 1. The tropical weather outlook has covered two days; now there will be a five-day forecast.

He said the center is working on storm surge watches and warnings, with plans to roll them out in 2015.