Welcome to the Flood Zone is a nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and educational opportunities. This newsletter has been proudly featured by the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the National Society of Professional Surveyors, and the Maine and New Hampshire Floodplain Management Programs. Please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues!

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In this Issue of Welcome to the Flood Zone:

Maine NFIP Corner: NFIP Training, FEMA Webinar Videos, and Flood Mapping Workshops
Real Estate Corner: "‘A Beautiful Place That Has a Dragon’: Where Hurricane Risk Meets Booming Growth"
In the News: "TMAC Recommends Big Changes for How Special Flood Hazard Area is Defined" and "A Decade After Superstorm Sandy, 2 Major Flood Control Projects Begin in New Jersey"
Resources: "Map Changes and Flood Insurance: What Property Owners Need to Know", "Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated" and "Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage"

Banner Image: Drivers make their way along the flooded Beach Road after the ocean overtopped the seawall during a winter snowstorm in the Boston suburb of Lynn on Jan. 4, 2018. (Brian Snyder / Reuters)


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)

The ASFPM Training and Knowledge Center offers webinars and an online university as a professional development resource for floodplain management professionals.

NFIP 101 Training Course - This on-demand nine unit course covers flood maps and studies, flood regulations, compliance, flood insurance, substantial improvement/substantial damage, and pre/post disaster floodplain management. The combined course duration for all nine units is approximately 14-17 hours to complete. There is a twenty question exam at the end of the course with unlimited retakes. The course can be completed at your own pace.


New Elevation Certificate and Dry Floodproofing Certificate webinars. Click on the links below to view on YouTube.
Overview of Changes Elevation Certificate 2023 (57 minutes)
Overview of Changes to Dry Floodproofing Certificate 2023 (35 minutes)

FEMA Region 1 Flood Mapping 101 Skill Share Virtual Workshop

On August 8th, 2022, FEMA Region 1 hosted a two-hour Flood Mapping 101 Skill Share Virtual Workshop for state and local floodplain management and permitting officials in New England. Topics covered included: history of the flood mapping program, overview of flood insurance rate maps and flood insurance studies, Map Service Center tutorial, how to read flood maps and how different flood zones affect local communities, the flood mapping development process, and Letters of Map Change.

Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) Section 1206

Section 1206 of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) authorizes FEMA to reimburse communities that participate in the NFIP for the resources needed to effectively administer and enforce building codes and floodplain management regulations following a major disaster declaration. This creates new eligible activities through FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program to carry out required post-disaster activities. FEMA has developed a 6 minute video on DRRA 1206 to educate floodplain administrators, emergency managers, elected officials, and other stakeholders in the recovery process with the information needed for successful reimbursement of these new eligible activities.


A community in Wilmington, North Carolina, where hundreds of new homes are replacing pineland forest along Cape Fear River.

Real Estate Corner

‘A Beautiful Place That Has a Dragon’: Where Hurricane Risk Meets Booming Growth

By Aatish Bhatia, The New York Times, November 19, 2023

The hurricanes keep coming, and the people, too: The fastest-growing places along the Atlantic coast this century are also among the most hurricane-prone.

Between 2016 and 2022, the five hurricanes that hit the Carolinas cost the two states over $33 billion in damages in current dollars, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and led to the deaths of more than 90, government data shows.

There’s every reason to expect more damage in coming years: A warming climate adds moisture to the air, unlocking the potential for wetter and more powerful storms. And rising sea levels make storm surges more damaging and coastal flooding more frequent.

And the newcomers will keep coming: One 2022 study projected that by 2050, population growth will increase the number of Americans exposed to flooding nearly four times as much as climate change will alone.

Click here to read the full article.


In the News

TMAC Recommends Big Changes for How Special Flood Hazard Area is Defined

ASFPM, November 2, 2023

Earlier this year, the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) was tasked with the challenge of developing recommendations that would reduce the number of uninsured losses and improve transparency around the potential impacts climate change and proposed development may have on flood risks to people, property, and the environment.

The request from FEMA centered on whether the definition of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) should be changed and how fill within those areas could be better managed. TMAC members unanimously agreed that change was needed and, over the course of the past few months, developed six recommendations for reducing future flood losses.

Click here to read the full article!


A worker helps build a so-called “resiliency park” in Hoboken, N.J. on Oct. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

A Decade After Superstorm Sandy, 2 Major Flood Control Projects Begin in New Jersey

By: Wayne Parry, Insurance Journal, October 30, 2023

Sandy hit the nation’s most populous metro area on Oct. 29, 2012. It swamped coastline communities, knocking out power, flooding transit systems and setting neighborhoods ablaze. It`s blamed for 182 deaths, including 12 in New Jersey and 48 in New York, and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage, including $36.8 billion in New Jersey and $32.8 billion in New York.

A decade after they were first envisioned in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy's destruction, two of the largest flood control projects designed to protect the densely populated cities of New Jersey that lie just outside New York City finally got underway.

Click here to read the full article.



map change

Map Changes and Flood Insurance: What Property Owners Need to Know

Flood hazards change over time. New land use, community development, or natural forces (changing weather, terrain changes, wildfires) all affect how water flows and drains. The science of mapping flood risk has changed over time, too. FEMA works with local communities and uses the latest technology to update and issue flood maps nationwide.

Click here to read the newly updated 8-page FEMA publication and learn more about flood map changes.


Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated

You may be familiar with mitigation measures such as elevating a home above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or relocating a home to high ground outside of a high risk flood area. Oftentimes it is not feasible to elevate residential structures, therefore, this publication focuses on mitigation measures other than elevating a home that can be used to protect properties from flooding, save money over time, and potentially reduce flood insurance premiums.

Click here to view the 16-page publication from FEMA.


Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage

A significant portion of flood damage is attributed to critical building systems including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other utility elements. Residents, communities and businesses are all impacted when building utility systems are damaged and cause delays in post-flood building re-occupancy.

This publication illustrates the design and construction of utility systems that comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for construction of new residential and non-residential structures in flood-prone areas.

Click here to download the 178-page FEMA publication.


December Flood Funny


Image by Alex Hallatt, March 12, 2011

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