June Banner

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!

If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this message.


In this Issue of Welcome to the Flood Zone:

Message from Jim
Announcement: Surveying Engineering Technology Spring 2019 Newsletter from the University of Maine
In the News: "FEMA Urges Public to Look at Flood Insurance Now", "Portland Installs Marker Showing How Much of City Will Be Underwater by 2050", "Can We Prepare for Climate Impacts Without Creating Financial Chaos?"
Resources: "Flood Safety Tips", "Coastal Resilience", and "FEMA FAQs for Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects"
NFIP Guidance: "How to Pay Less for Flood Insurance"
Real Estate Corner: "Property Values Don't Reflect Risk of Frequent Coastal Flooding"

Banner Image: The Elkhorn River in Omaha, Nebraska, March 17, 2019. Photo from Jeff Bundy/Omaha World-Herald via AP.


Message from Jim

It is no coincidence that having proactive people in our lives can make the day go smoother – whether it be having a Band-Aid ready for an injury, or an umbrella for the rain, proactive people are not afraid to brave the day and be of help because they are prepared! In fact, they are often the same group of people with written goals, and an ability to prioritize things that are most important. The National Flood Insurance Program could benefit from having more proactive people – the better we are prepared, the more solvent the program can be, which allows it to help people more effectively over the long term.

When speaking with a client or student about how to proactively address flood risk, I always emphasize the fact that a flood map cannot identify the exact location of a flood’s reach, but instead, identifies areas depicting higher flood risk based on underlying data engineers used to create the shape of a Special Flood Hazard Area. So in other words, your neighborhood could experience an increase in actual flood risk, but without a map change to reflect it, it may go unnoticed. This separation actually occurs often since map revision is an extensive and costly process, yet development in and around areas of flood risk is constantly occurring.

Three common options to reduce the occurrence of actual flood damage include: not building in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area, siting a home on an elevated portion of the parcel, and elevating your lowest floor. Understanding the benefits of being proactive with flood insurance is equally as important. Concepts such as built-in-compliance, grandfathering, obtaining flood insurance prior to a map change, placing properly compacted fill, or changing the lowest floor for insurance rating are all strategies to consider when flood risk is present on a property.

Contacting an insurance agent or local professional who understands ongoing flood risk and the map change process will prove valuable in protecting you and your property, as well as potentially saving thousands of dollars in damage, insurance premiums, or real estate value. Right now is the best time to become proactive with flood, and there are so many options and resources available to help!



The Surveying Engineering Technology Spring 2019 Newsletter from the University of Maine has been released! It includes the results of the Graduate/Fundamentals of Survey Exam, enrollment data, scholarship recipients, donors, faculty news, and more!

Click here to view the newsletter.


In the News

FEMA Urges Public to Look at Flood Insurance Now

George Olsen, Public Radio East, May 21, 2019

With hurricane season underway June 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says now is the time to purchase flood insurance. It takes 30 days from the day you purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program for the policy to take effect, so FEMA suggests thinking about your flood insurance purchase now.

Read more!


The High Water Mark sign on the Portland Pier. Photo by Cara Derose, Maine Beacon.

Portland Installs Marker Showing How Much of City Will Be Underwater by 2050

Cara DeRose, Maine Beacon, May 17, 2019

"Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling declared a ‘call to action’ for residents on Friday during the unveiling of a High-Water Mark (HWM) sign at Portland Pier, saying the worst ravages of climate change can still be avoided if communities commit to substantive action to lower carbon emissions.

'Today is really a call to action,' he said. 'We still can change this outcome. It is not inevitable. We are causing it. If we begin to take the steps we need to take locally, perhaps we can impact the world globally.'

Federal reports have shown that, if nothing is done to alter the course of climate change, the Northeast will experience an unprecedented level of flooding in urban areas, like Portland."

Read more!

Can We Prepare for Climate Impacts Without Creating Financial Chaos?

Geoff Dembicki, Ensia, May 9, 2019

"The dilemma communities face — how to prepare for the impacts of climate change without scaring away homeowners and investors and setting off a damaging economic spiral — is increasingly urgent anywhere those impacts are manifesting. Experts in coastal inundation, destructive wildfires and financially destabilizing droughts say there is no easy answer.

But the best way to improve our long-term odds of survival while preventing a near-term financial fallout, they say, is to fully accept the dangers ahead. Communities that begin preparing for those dangers today will be much better positioned to thrive in a perilous 21st century than those that wait."

Read more!




Flood Safety Tips

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips on what to do before, during, and after a flood to protect you and your family from flood hazards. Did you know that as little as 6 inches of water in the road can cause you to lose control of your vehicle? Turn around, don't drown!

Learn more!

Coastal Resilience

Coastal Resilience is a program led by The Nature Conservancy to examine nature’s role in reducing coastal flood risk. The program consists of an approach, a web mapping tool, and a network of practitioners around the world supporting hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning.

Learn more!

Project Culvert Invert Windham

FEMA FAQs for Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects

This FEMA webpage provides engineers, surveyors, and architects answers to the most frequently asked questions on flood hazard mapping and understanding a community or property's risk to floods.

Learn more!


NFIP Guidance

How to Pay Less for Flood Insurance

What you pay for flood insurance often has a lot to do with how much flood risk is associated with your building. Mitigation and other factors play a role in protecting properties from flood damage, but sometimes they can also help reduce how much you pay for your flood insurance policy.

An elevated home, like the one shown in 5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium with a first floor elevated three feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), can expect to save 60% or more on annual flood insurance premiums.

Learn more from Floodsmart.gov!

for sale

Real Estate Corner

Property Values Don't Reflect Risk of Frequent Coastal Flooding

Frank Carini, ecoRI News, May 20, 2019

"Using three sea-level-rise scenarios developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and localized for this analysis, the Union of Concerned Scientists determined how many residential and commercial properties along the entire lower 48 coastline are at risk of becoming chronically inundated from high tides — flooding on average 26 times annually or more, or the equivalent of once every other week — in the coming decades even in the absence of major storms.

Homeowners whose properties become chronically inundated may find themselves with mortgages that exceed the value of their homes, or face steeply rising flood insurance premiums. Lenders carrying large numbers of these risky mortgages could lose money or even become insolvent, with smaller banks concentrated in areas with high-flood risk being especially exposed. Coastal real-estate investors and developers may similarly experience financial losses in some coastal areas."

Read more!


June Land Surveying Funny

We may have shared this one a couple of times, but it makes us smile, so we're sharing it again!

kids thought this land surveyor was taking a picture. 9204002618
Powered by Mad Mimi®A GoDaddy® company