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
Real Estate Corner: "The Ocean is Coming for Homes. That's Not Priced In." and "Could a Climate-Friendly Yard Actually Be Better for Curb Appeal?"
In the News: "Biden Admin: Stop Flood Insurance For New, Risky Homes", "Study Explores Uncertainties in Flood Risk Estimates" and "Vantage Point: Elevation Certificates and Risk Rating 2.0"
Resources: "Discount Explanation Guide", "Reduce Flood Risk" and "Freeboard"
Climate Corner: "Coastal Wetlands Have an Important Role to Play in Addressing Climate Change"
Banner Image: Yellowstone National Park remains closed after record-breaking floods hit Monday, June 13, 2022. Image from "Yellowstone-area Floods Strand Visitors and Residents, Prompt Evacuations"


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

From our partners at the Maine Emergency Management Agency:
The June 30th update from the U.S. Drought Monitor places greater than 50% of Maine in abnormally dry or in moderate drought conditions. Click here to view the map.

2022 National Hurricane Safety Week: July 11-15
Be on the lookout for social media posts during the week from our partners at the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
Facebook: Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

Employment Opportunity
There is a Secretary Associate position now posted in the Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning.
Click here for more information and to apply for the position.

for sale

Real Estate Corner

The Ocean is Coming for Homes. That's Not Priced In.

By: Jonathan Levin, The Washington Post, April 2, 2022

The rise in sea levels is on track to increase highly destructive flooding fivefold in the U.S. by 2050, but a new study of home prices in coastal Florida suggests buyers are oblivious or indifferent to the risk. Governments need to take action to ensure that everyone has the right information about this critical threat.

Click here to read the full article.


Image Credit: Brie Williams

Could a Climate-Friendly Yard Actually Be Better for Curb Appeal?

By: Kristine Gill, Better Homes & Gardens, June 1, 2022

Making changes to take your yard from high-maintenance (and resource-draining) to eco-friendly can save you time and money—and even give you a new level of curb appeal.

Click here to read the article.


In the News

Biden Admin: Stop Flood Insurance For New, Risky Homes

By: Thomas Frank, E&E News, June 13, 2022

The Biden administration is proposing a massive overhaul of federal flood insurance that would prevent the government from insuring newly built homes in flood-prone areas and would drop coverage for homeowners who receive repeated claims payments.

The administration also is proposing a nationwide disclosure law that would require homebuyers and renters to be told about a property’s flood history before they buy or lease a residence. And no new federal flood insurance policy could be written for any commercial building, regardless of its location or construction date.

The proposals, contained in a 104-page legislative package sent recently to congressional leaders, are the most dramatic attempt to restructure the government’s National Flood Insurance Program since its creation in 1968.

Click here to learn more!

Study Explores Uncertainties in Flood Risk Estimates

By: Guo Yu, Daniel B. Wright, Frances V. Davenport., Science News, June 14, 2022

Flood frequency analysis is a technique used to estimate flood risk, providing statistics such as the "100-year flood" or "500-year flood" that are critical to infrastructure design, dam safety analysis, and flood mapping in flood-prone areas. But the method used to calculate these flood frequencies is due for an update, according to a new study by scientists from DRI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Colorado State University.

Click here to read more.

Vantage Point: Elevation Certificates and Risk Rating 2.0

By Wendy Lathrop, The American Surveyor, May 15, 2022

We are pleased to share another great article by our friend and colleague, Wendy Lathrop. Originally featured in The American Surveyor, this article reminds surveyors and the public that the Elevation Certificate, though no longer required for rating insurance policies, is still very valuable for obtaining the best insurance rating.

Click here to read the full article.




Discount Explanation Guide

Under Risk Rating 2.0, mitigation efforts, community programs, and other discounts can help reduce food damage and, potentially, the cost of food insurance. This guide provides discount information on certain rating variables that are generally applied to the building and contents premium.

Click here to view a PDF of the Discount Explanation Guide.

Learn more from "Frequently Asked Questions - Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action".

reduceflood risk

Click the image above to view a brief introductory video on YouTube.

Reduce Flood Risk is an interactive online resource developed by the Association of State Floodplain Managers to help property owners and buyers in flood prone areas identify strategies to reduce their property's risk of flooding.

Click here to learn more and start using this this interactive resource!



Freeboard is defined as "an additional amount of height above the Base Flood Elevation used as a factor of safety (e.g., 2 feet above the Base Flood) in determining the level at which a structure's lowest floor must be elevated or floodproofed to be in accordance with state or community floodplain management regulations."

Freeboard tends to compensate for the many unknown factors that could contribute to flood heights greater than the height calculated for a selected size flood and floodway conditions, such as wave action, bridge openings, and the hydrological effect of urbanization of the watershed.

Freeboard is not required by NFIP standards, but communities are encouraged to adopt at least a one-foot freeboard to account for the one-foot rise built into the concept of designating a floodway and the encroachment requirements where floodways have not been designated. Freeboard results in significantly lower flood insurance rates due to lower flood risk.

(FEMA, 2020)


Climate Corner

salt marsh

Pelicans fly over salt marsh at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina, which is part of a million acres that the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative seeks to protect. Image by Teresa Kopec

Coastal Wetlands Have an Important Role to Play in Addressing Climate Change

By: Alex Clayton and Emily Owen, The Pew Charitable Trusts, April 21, 2022

Coastal wetlands, long recognized for their importance to local livelihoods and biodiversity, are also important natural carbon sinks. Mangroves, salt marsh, and seagrass beds, known collectively as “blue carbon” ecosystems, are especially efficient at removing carbon dioxide from the air and surrounding waters.

Despite occupying less than 2% of the ocean, coastal wetlands store roughly 50% of all carbon known to be buried in global ocean sediments. These habitats also provide myriad other benefits, including protecting coastal communities against the full impact of storm surges, floods, sea level rise, and other climate change-related threats.

Click here to read the article.


July Flood Funny

july flood funy

Image from Goosehead Insurance/Steve Wills.

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