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: "Expired FEMA Elevation Certificates"
Real Estate Corner: "Buying and Selling Homes in Flood Zones: What Every Agent Should Know"
In the News: "Finding a Solution to the US Flood Insurance Challenge" and "Flood Insurance: FEMA's New Rate-Setting Methodology Improves Actuarial Soundness but Highlights Need for Broader Program Reform"
Resources: "NAI How-to Guide for Hazard Identification and Floodplain Mapping" and "Actions to Protect a Flood-Prone House or Business with a Basement"
Climate Corner: "What the Data Says about Americans’ Views of Climate Change"

Banner Image: Homes in Barre, Vermont inundated by flash flooding. Image by John Tully, The Washington Post, via Getty Images, July 11, 2023.


Maine NFIP Corner

Sue Baker, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator

Expired FEMA Elevation Certificates

On July 7, 2023, FEMA announced the approval of the new Elevation Certificate and Dry Floodproofing Certificate (refer to WYO bulletin W-23006). The expiration date of these forms is 06/30/2026. The revised forms should be used going forward. You may access the forms on the FEMA website at National Flood Insurance Program Underwriting Forms |

FEMA has received inquiries requesting the usage of the expired forms. Please refer to the guidance below:

For NFIP insurance rating purposes, and for NFIP communities participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program, FEMA will accept a properly completed Elevation Certificate or Floodproofing Certificate with the former expired date if signed or certified prior to November 1, 2023.

In NFIP non-CRS communities, for floodplain management compliance purposes, communities can use their discretion for certifying elevation information.

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Buying and Selling Homes in Flood Zones: What Every Agent Should Know

By: Michael Rhoda, Aceable

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t see a news report about the weather and its devastating effects on property. Flooding, whether caused by a single event or rising sea levels, looms larger than ever as a risk factor for those considering buying or selling property today.

How big of a concern should this be for you as a real estate agent?

The answer to that will vary, depending on your location. But as the Federal Emergency Management Agency says, “Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.”

Click here to read the full article.

Of note...the article mentions an Elevation Certificate will likely be required to purchase flood insurance - this is no longer the case! With Risk Rating 2.0, the data from an elevation certificate may help reduce insurance premiums, but it is not required to purchase insurance.


In the News

The following two articles highlight recommendations to improve the NFIP upon examining the impacts of insurance rating changes.

Finding a Solution to the US Flood Insurance Challenge

By Matthew Nielson of Moody's RMS, The Insurer, August 7, 2023

While there is strong agreement that increasing flood insurance coverage is a top priority, there are differing opinions as to how to achieve higher take-up.

Typically, a first suggestion revolves around educating policyholders through a more complete view of homeowners’ risk.

Other ideas focus more on regulations, and one popular idea involves mandating the inclusion of flood coverage within a standard homeowner’s policy.

Another suggestion to boost take-up focuses more on the psychology of buying an insurance policy. Instead of offering homeowners the chance to opt into flood coverage, the paradigm can be flipped to require them to opt out.

Click here to read the full article.

Flood Insurance: FEMA's New Rate-Setting Methodology Improves Actuarial Soundness but Highlights Need for Broader Program Reform

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), July 31, 2023

FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program is charged with keeping flood insurance affordable and staying financially solvent. But a historical focus on affordability has led to insurance premiums being lower than they should be. The program hasn't collected enough revenue to pay claims, and has had to borrow billions from the Treasury.

FEMA revamped how it sets premiums in 2021—more closely aligning them with the flood risk of individual properties. But affordability concerns accompany the premium increases some will experience.

We recommended that Congress consider creating a means-based assistance program that's reflected in the federal budget.

Click here to learn more and read the full article.




NAI How-to Guide for Hazard Identification and Floodplain Mapping

Anyone who wants a more resilient community that can withstand a major flood event should use this guide. That could mean anyone, from local officials, to elected officers, decision makers, floodplain managers, coastal managers, stormwater managers, emergency managers, planners, hazard mitigation specialists, public works and engineering staff, design professionals, concerned citizens, and various other groups in the community.

NAI stands for "No Adverse Impact", a floodplain management philosophy that looks at the impacts of land use decisions, identifies adverse impacts and mitigates them through a variety of actions.

Click here to view a PDF of the 112-page guide.


Actions to Protect a Flood-Prone House or Business with a Basement

This brochure is for homeowners and business owners who want to reduce their exposure to flood damage if their building contains a basement. Even if a government agency is planning to construct a communitywide flood control project, it may take years before it is constructed and operational. Meanwhile, you may flood again. This brochure provides a step-by-step decision-making process that can help you to reduce your flood risk.

Click here to view a PDF of the 7-page brochure from the Association of State Floodplain Managers.


Climate Corner

What the Data Says about Americans’ Views of Climate Change

By: Alec Tyson, Cary Funk, and Brian Kennedy, Pew Research Center, August 9, 2023

A recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has underscored the need for international action to avoid increasingly severe climate impacts in the years to come. Steps outlined in the report, and by climate experts, include major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sectors such as energy production and transportation.

But how do Americans feel about climate change, and what steps do they think the United States should take to address it? Here are eight charts that illustrate Americans’ views on the issue, based on recent Pew Research Center surveys.

Click here to learn more!


September Flood Funny


Image by Dave Blazek, and featured in Loose Parts, August 14, 2023.

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