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:

Message from Jim
Education: Nadeau Land Surveys to Offer First Continuing Education Webinar
In the News: "An Examination of Federal Flood Maps in a Changing Climate" and "FEMA Extends Grace Period for Flood Insurance Renewal Premiums"
Resources: "Updated FEMA Technical Bulletins Have Been Published!"
Real Estate Corner: "Homes in U.S. Flood Zones Are Vastly Overvalued"
NFIP Guidance: "April 1, 2020 Program Changes"
History Corner: "The Origins of April Fools' Day"

Banner Image: Flooding in downtown Hallowell, Maine, April 1, 1987. Image from "Remembering The Great Flood Of April 1, 1987 30 Years Later".


Message from Jim

In April of 2011, Nadeau Land Surveys published our first issue of “Welcome to the Flood Zone”, a monthly newsletter intended to enhance knowledge and reduce misconceptions about the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as, convey the importance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s first two phases of emergency management: mitigation and preparedness. Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters, and preparedness is defined as a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response. Together, these are the strongest preventative actions we can take to protect the health, safety, and welfare of society. The other two phases of emergency management - response and recovery - are very significant and will always be present to pick up the unnecessary pieces of poor planning, but the cost of recovery is much higher than the cost of mitigation.

Now on our 109th issue of this newsletter, the significance of mitigation is more important than ever. During this time of year, we would typically be providing insight on preparing for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins on June 1, but the protective measures more deserving of our attention right now are rightly regarding COVID-19, and the actions we can take to reduce the impact of this disaster. Please remember though, that mitigation and preparedness for flood risk should not be forgotten. Even during these times when our nation is most vulnerable, Mother Nature will continue on her course. Like with COVID-19, the best we can do to prepare for natural disasters is stay informed, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. Listen to the guidance of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, your Governor, and municipal officials to stay safe and healthy! We will continue doing our best to educate on flood risk and mitigation as we have since 2011. Take care!



We are offering our first online webinar for continuing education!

We have been working toward offering distance learning for some time now. Perhaps one of the few silver linings in this unfortunate situation of social distancing and stay-home orders, we have found the catalyst to finally get us up and running!

"Flood Zone Mapping & Risk", a 2 hour course designed for Connecticut real estate appraisers, will be hosted by the Connecticut Chapter of the Appraisal Institute on April 9, 2020.

We hope to be able to offer similar courses for students in Maine. Stay tuned!


In the News

An Examination of Federal Flood Maps in a Changing Climate

In February, Chad Berginnis, Executive Director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, gave a testimony before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to explore how flooding and sea level rise affect American property owners, how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses science to inform its flood products, and whether additional federal resources are needed to research and communicate future flood risk to the public.

Click here to download a PDF of the full testimony.

FEMA Extends Grace Period for Flood Insurance Renewal Premiums

FEMA continues to take proactive steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to help serve its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) customers who may be experiencing financial hardships, as the agency is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days.

To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew National Flood Insurance Program policies. However, due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, FEMA recognizes that policyholders may not meet the standard deadline.

This extension will allow additional time for policyholders who may be struggling financially to pay insurance premiums and ensure their policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to circumstances beyond their control.

If a policy has an expiration date between February 13, 2020 and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the appropriate renewal premium within 120 days of the expiration date to avoid a lapse in coverage. Likewise, if a policyholder receives an underpayment notice dated between February 13, 2020, and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the additional premium amount requested within 120 days of the date of the notice.

Policyholders who need additional time to pay their premiums, beyond the 120-day extension, should contact their agent or insurer to inquire about other options the insurer may offer for premium payment.

Learn more from the National Hazard Mitigation Association.



Updated FEMA Technical Bulletins Have Been Published!

Technical Bulletins provide guidance for complying with the NFIP’s building performance requirements (contained in Title 44 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at Section 60.3). The bulletins help State and local officials interpret the NFIP Regulations and are also useful resources for homeowners, insurance agents, building professionals and designers.


Technical Bulletin 1, Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures (March 2020)

This bulletin provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning the requirements for flood openings in below-Base Flood Elevation foundation walls and walls of enclosures for buildings located in Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AR, AO, and AH.

Click here to download a PDF of Technical Bulletin 1.


Technical Bulletin 5, Free-of-Obstruction Requirements (March 2020)

This bulletin provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning obstructions to flood waters below elevated buildings and on building sites in Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V, VE, and V1-V30).

Click here to download a PDF of Technical Bulletin 5.

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Homes in U.S. Flood Zones Are Vastly Overvalued: Requirements to Disclose Flood Risk Could Help Discourage Development in Inundation-prone Areas

By Thomas Frank, E&E News, March 3, 2020 (featured in Scientific American)

An analysis by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research shows the more that prospective buyers know about flood risk, the less they are willing to pay for a property.

“By incorporating climate risk into asset prices, markets can discourage excessive development in hazardous areas,” the study concludes.

“This benefits the broader public by ensuring we’re not constantly rebuilding housing and infrastructure that’s at risk,” said Joel Scata, a water and climate attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports flood disclosure. “Having good disclosure laws in this country is vital to getting information into people’s hands that they can use to make smart decisions about where to live and how to live."

Read more!


NFIP Guidance

April 1, 2020 Program Changes

This FEMA Memorandum, dated October 1, 2019, outlines the following program changes:
• Updated premium rates
• Updated reserve fund assessment percentage
• Floodproofing guidance for non-residential buildings
• Discontinuation of V-Zone Risk Rating Factor Form

Click here to download a PDF of the FEMA Memo.


The Great Spaghetti Harvest! Lo Spiedo, an Italian restaurant in London, 1961. The ceremony is in response to a hoax broadcast by 'Panorama' on April Fools' Day 1957, in which broadcaster Richard Dimbleby reported on the growing of spaghetti trees in Switzerland. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

History Corner

The Origins of April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day, or All Fools' Day, is such a silly tradition, nobody seems to know its exact origins. Some speculate it was 1582 in France, others, Ancient Rome. Whatever the source, for centuries cultures all around the world have created a tradition of pranking, hoaxes, and foolery.

Need a break from the unsettling news of today's world? Read about April Fools' Day and some of the most outrageous historical pranks people ever fell for!


April Flood Funny

alice in floodland 798135

Image by Rodrigo, published at www.expresso.pt on February 26th, 2010

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