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:

In the News: "Talking Points on the New Flood Risk Assessment Tool from First Street", "Study: U.S. Flood Risks Dwarf Federal Estimates" and "Your Climate Disaster Tax Bill is Growing"
Resources: "Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources", "The Map Change Lifecycle Overview" and "Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards"
Flood Terminology: "River Stage"
Real Estate Corner: "Your Duty to Disclose a Property’s Flood Risks" and "Florida’s Flooded Future: ‘Retreat While There’s Still Time’"
History Corner:
Banner Image: Flooding in Miami, FL after a 2009 storm brought almost 9 inches of rain. Image from "How the 5 Riskiest U.S. Cities for Coastal Flooding are Preparing for Rising Tides" (ScienceNews.org, 2019)


In the News

Talking Points on the New Flood Risk Assessment Tool from First Street

Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), June 26, 2020

The buzz in the world of floodplain management is the release of a new flood risk assessment tool that makes it easier for consumers to learn about past, present, and potential flood risk for a specific property. ASFPM weighs in on some of the benefits, as well as the risks or limitations of using a product such as this.

Click here to read the ASFPM Talking Points.

Also check out:
Politico's "Study: U.S. Flood Risks Dwarf Federal Estimates" (By Zach Colman, June 29, 2020) for more about the First Street flood risk assessment tool.

Your Climate Disaster Tax Bill is Growing

By: Paul Bodnar and Tamara Grbusic, The New York Times, June 23, 2020

Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, the federal government’s spending on climate-related disaster recovery was a rapidly rising fiscal threat. In response to climate-related disasters in 2017, for example, Congress appropriated $136 billion in additional funding for recovery — amounting to about $1,000 for every American taxpayer.

Read more!




Whenever a tropical cyclone (a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane) or a subtropical storm has formed in the Atlantic or eastern North Pacific, the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues tropical cyclone advisory products at least every 6 hours at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm EDT.

Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources

Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. This resource provides information on hurricane hazards, climatology, outreach and education tools, safety planning, and more!

Check out the National Weather Service!

The Map Change Lifecycle Overview

This FEMA infographic illustrates the timing and opportunities to communicate with residents during the flood map change process. A flood map change typically takes 36 months or more. Communicating about the process and insurance options early and often is essential to ensuring
residents take action and secure insurance coverage.

Click on the photo to download an enlarged PDF image.


Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards

This publication can be used to identify and evaluate a range of potential mitigation actions for reducing risk to natural hazards and disasters. Ideas for mitigation actions are presented for droughts, earthquakes, erosion, extreme temperatures, floods, hail, landslides, lightning, sea level rise, severe wind, severe winter weather, storm surge, subsidence, tornados, tsunamis, and wildfires.

Click here to download a PDF of FEMA's "Mitigation Ideas".


Flood Terminology:

River Stage

River stage is an important concept when analyzing how much water is moving in a stream at any given moment. Stage is the water level above some arbitrary point, usually with the zero height being near the river bed, and the height is commonly measured in feet. For example, on a normal day when no rain has fallen for a while, a river might have a stage of 2 feet (baseflow conditions). If a big storm hits, the river stage could rise to 15 or 20 feet, sometimes very quickly. This is important because, from past records, we might know that when the stage hits 21 feet, the water will start flowing over its banks and into the basements of houses along the river.

Learn more from the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Q&A!

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Your Duty to Disclose a Property’s Flood Risks

REALTOR Magazine, July 22, 2020

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., and your clients may have a lot of questions about flood risks for properties they’re considering. Real estate professionals have several legal and ethical obligations when it comes to flood-related disclosures in a transaction.

Read more!

Florida’s Flooded Future: ‘Retreat While There’s Still Time’

By: Laura Raim, The Nation, June 8, 2020

This article explores the socio-economic impacts of climate change where evidence of sea level rise is already occurring, Miami Florida. Learn about "climate gentrification", "managed retreat", "adaptation vs. relocation" and "resilient urbanism", concepts that are making their way into mainstream conversations as flood-prone cities explore their options for the future.

Read the article.


Suffrage envoys from San Francisco greeted in New Jersey on their way to Washington to present a petition to Congress containing more than 500,000 signatures. New Jersey United States, 1915.

History Corner

Maine Suffrage Centennial

The 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was ratified by the state of Maine in November 1919. It was officially adopted as part of the U.S. Constitution in August 1920.

Click here to learn more about the Maine Suffrage Centennial!


August Flood Funny


Image by Kevin Jackson

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