"Barring imminent health and welfare issues, no one will prevent them from rebuilding," says Marc Roy, a former FEMA official who is now an adjunct professor of disaster management at Tulane University in New Orleans.
But should they?
Some experts in flooding say residents in low-lying coastal areas that flood should consider moving to higher ground.
"After a couple of floods, if people used common sense, they would just get out of there," says Orrin Pilkey, a professor emeritus at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and an expert on coastal sea-level rise. "I would not just patch up the holes and go back."
But people are often driven by the love of their homes or communities and want to return.
In New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, for example, some residents in areas that were under 18 to 20 feet of water, such as the Lower Ninth Ward, have rebuilt. In some cases, they are now protected by higher and better levees, which held when hurricane Isaac came through this August.