Executive Order Establishing Federal Flood Risk StandardExecutiveOrder
On January 30, 2015, President Obama issued new Executive Order 13690 that modifies E.O. 11988 and establishes a new federal flood risk management standard for federal investments and programs.  This new standard was called for by the President's State, Local and Tribal Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.  The strengthened standard gives agencies the flexibility to use one of the following three standards to establish the flood elevation and flood hazard areas to be used in siting, design and construction:
  1. Use data and methods informed by best-available, actionable climate science;
  2. Build two feet above the 100-year (1% annual chance) base flood elevation for standard projects; and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or
  3. Build to the 500-year (0.2% annual chance) flood elevation.
The standard also requires that where possible, agencies shall use natural systems, ecosystem processes and nature based approaches when developing alternatives for consideration.

Implementation of E.O. 13690 will not occur until public input has been gathered (60 day public comment period started on January 30) and agencies incorporate these standards into their own programs, rules and guidelines which will give an opportunity for further public comment.  More information on the new Executive Order can be found on a fact sheet prepared by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Why is the Government in the Flood Insurance Business?GovFloodIns
Do you ever wonder why the federal government started selling flood insurance?  The answer is Hurricane Betsy.  Hurricane Betsy struck the Gulf Coast in 1965 with massive devastation and became known as "Billion Dollar Betsy".  In 1968, a few years after Betsy, the government decided it would take on the job of selling flood insurance.  Some people hated this idea.  If private insurance companies would not sell flood insurance policies to people who wanted to live in flood zones, they argued, why should the government?  Read the full National Public Radio (NPR) article
Flood Insurance Rate Changes Scheduled April 1, 2015RateChanges2015

The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) was passed in March 2014, which repealed and modified the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12).  On April 1, 2015, flood insurance rate changes and other charges mandated by HFIAA will be fully implemented.  Below is a summary of the changes.  More information can be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood insurance reform webpage. 


  • Premium rate increases between 5%-15% depending on the flood zone for older structures built before the date of the community's first flood insurance rate map (pre-FIRM structures) that currently have subsidized (discounted) rates.
  • Premium rate increases of 25% annually for non-primary (seasonal) residences, commercial properties and severe repetitive loss properties (SRLP).
  • Increase the Reserve Fund Assessment from 5% to 15% on most policies.
  • Implement a new 10% Reserve Fund Assessment for Preferred Risk Polices (PRP).  
  • Implement an annual surcharge of $25 for a primary residence, $250 for a commercial property or non-primary residence.   
  • Raise the deductible limit to $10,000.
How Prepared is New York City for Future Super Storms?NYC
Two years after Hurricane Sandy, New York City's most devastating storm in a century, is the city any safer?   See the eight key conclusions drawn from the "Stormproofing the City" series published by The Guardian on making New York City more resilient to future storms.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Quiet As PredictedHurricaneSeason

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended November 30 and will be remembered as a relatively quiet season, as predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Hurricane Center (NHC).  "A combination of atmospheric conditions acted to suppress the Atlantic hurricane season, including very strong vertical wind shear, combined with increased atmospheric stability, stronger sinking motion and drier air across the tropical Atlantic," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.  "Also, the West African monsoon was near- to below average, making it more difficult for African easterly waves to develop."  


Hurricane Iselle on August 4, 2014.
Meanwhile, the eastern North Pacific hurricane season met or exceeded expectations with 20 named storms - the busiest season since 1992, and brought much-needed moisture to the parts of the southwestern U.S.  "Conditions that favored an above-normal eastern Pacific hurricane season included weak vertical wind shear, exceptionally moist and unstable air, and a strong ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere that helped to keep storms in a conducive environment for extended periods," added Bell.  NOAA's seasonal hurricane outlook called for four to seven tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season.  The most notable storm was major Hurricane Iselle, which hit the Big Island of Hawaii in early August as a tropical storm, and was the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in the main Hawaiian Islands since Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Hurricane Ana was also notable in that it was the longest-lived tropical cyclone (13 days) of the season and the longest-lived central Pacific storm of the satellite era.


View the full 2014 hurricane season wrap-up and read about the new watch/warning products being offered by the NHC for the 2015 hurricane season. 
The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.
Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate EstablishedAdvocate
A provision of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) mandated the establishment of a Flood Insurance Advocate to assist policyholders with navigating through the complexities of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Congress created the position but provided no funding.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced that a new Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate will be established starting December 22, 2014 and will be staffed with existing FEMA employees.  David Stearrett will serve as the acting Flood Insurance Advocate.  Mr. Stearrett has worked in the NFIP for 17 years, spending the last eight years as chief of the program's Floodplain Management Branch.  The public can reach the acting Flood Insurance Advocate via email at:  insurance-advocate@fema.dhs.gov.  At launch, the acting Advocate and staff will focus on assisting the public with NFIP questions and concerns.  The acting Advocate will also develop a long-term regional mapping outreach and education strategy to maximize support to the public.  The Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate will be an independent entity within FEMA and have direct advisory access to the FEMA Administrator.  As funding becomes available, FEMA plans to designate a permanent Flood Insurance Advocate and staff.  
NOAA Establishes Tipping Points for SLR FloodingNOAASLR
A new National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study, From the Extreme to the Mean: Acceleration and Tipping Points for Coastal Inundation due to Sea Level Rise, predicts that by 2050 a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise (SLR).  NOAA scientists established a frequency-based benchmark for what they call "tipping points", when nuisance flooding, defined by NOAA's National Weather Service as between one to two feet above local high tide, occurs more than 30 or more times a year.  Based on this standard, NOAA found that these tipping points will be met or exceeded by 2050 at most of the U.S. coastal areas studied.  Coastal communities are beginning to experience "sunny day" nuisance or urban flooding much more than in in the past due to the effects of SLR.  NOAA is projecting that Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Norfolk, VA, and Wilmington, NC will soon have to make, or are already being forced to make, decisions on how to mitigate these nuisance floods earlier than planned.  Mitigation decisions could range from retreating further inland to coastal fortification or to a combination of "green" infrastructure using both natural resources such as dunes and wetlands, along with "gray" man-made infrastructure such as sea walls and redesigned storm water systems.  
Training OpportunitiesTrainings



Registration Now Closed, Class Full, Wait List Only - The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Association of Floodplain Managers (CAFM) will be co-hosting the E273 "Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program" 4-day course on March 9-12, 2015, with the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) exam following on March 13, 2015.  The class and exam will be held at the CTDEEP Marine Headquarters in Old Lyme.  For more information, visit the CAFM website.


March 23-24, 2015:  National Flood Determination Association (NFDA), Scottsdale, AZ,

May 31-June 5, 2015:  Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) 39th Annual Conference - "Mitigation on My Mind", Atlanta, GA, www.floods.org

September 8-11, 2015:  Floodplain Management Association Annual Conference, Palm Springs, CA, http://fma.temp-website.com/annual-conference.


The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is located at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  EMI serves as the national center for emergency management training of federal, state and local government officials.  Tuition, housing, and all books and materials are provided at no cost.  Participants are responsible for the cost of a meal pass (approximately $150/week).  Below is a select list of floodplain management classes offered until September 2015. A full list of training classes can be found at the EMI website.  
E172  HAZUS-MH for Flood -July 27-30 
E174  HAZUS-MH for Earthquake - March 30-April 2
E190  ArcGIS for Emergency Managers - August 24-27
E194  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts - May 4-7
E273  Managing Floodplain Development through the NFIP - March 9-12, June 22-25, Sept 21-24
E278  Community Rating System (CRS) - April 27-30, July 27-30, August 31-Sept 3
E279  Retofitting Floodprone Residential Structures - May 4-7
E282  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts II - August 3-6
E284  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts III - August 24-27
E296  Application of HAZUS-MH for Risk Assessment - August 3-6
E313  Basic HAZUS-MH - April 13-16
E317  Comprehensive Data Management for HAZUS-MH - June 15-18
E386  Residential Coastal Construction - August 31-Sept 3
Visit the DEEP website at www.ct.gov/deep.  Published by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, Inland Water Resources Division, Floodplain Management Program.  Editor:  Diane Ifkovic, State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator, email:  diane.ifkovic@ct.gov.
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
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