2017 Hurricane Season - Busier Than Normalhurricane
Forecasters at the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center predict that 2017 may be another above normal hurricane season.  F or this year's Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, between 11 and 17 named tropical storms are predicted, with 5 to 9 developing into hurricanes, and then 2 to 4 developing into major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher (wind speed of 111 mph or higher).  The first named storm of 2017, Tropical Storm Arlene, formed in April but spun harmlessly out to sea without impact to land. 
Factors contributing to this year's prediction include a weak or non-existent El Nino, average or weaker than average vertical wind shear, and near or above average sea surface temperatures may lead to increased storm activity this year.  NOAA's predictions will be updated again in August as we near the peak of hurricane season.  
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed some useful hurricane preparedness tips to assist with what to do before, during and after a hurricane.  Residents can also access information and sign up for alerts at the Connecticut Emergency Preparedness webpage.
Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood DamageUtility

In February 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Science Branch announced the release of the second edition of Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage (FEMA P-348).  Like its predecessor, the updated publication illustrates the design and construction of utility systems that comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for new or substantially improved residential and non-residential structures located in the floodplain.


Geared to local officials, building owners, architects, engineers, builders, contractors, and property managers, the overall objective of this updated publication is to assist in making decisions which maximize flood resiliency during the repair, upgrade, reconstruction, or replacement of utility systems to achieve compliance with NFIP regulations and building codes. 


The guidebook has been updated to reflect the latest versions of the International Code Council codes and building standards.  The sections on specific mitigation measures have been expanded.  In addition, dozens of illustrations, photographs, schematics, graphics, and tables help building owners determine the best mitigation option for a particular building type and condition.  An appendix gives helpful information about how property owners can obtain FEMA assistance for flood retrofitting projects. 


The guide addresses mitigation measures for:

  • Mechanical Equipment and Appliances - heating and cooling equipment and appliances, exhaust systems, duct systems, boilers and water heaters, hydronic piping, and solar energy systems.
  • Electrical Systems - service equipment, feeders, panel boards, switches, fuse boxes, cabinets and control panels, outlets, receptacles, wiring, and emergency power generators.
  • Communications - phone, cable, fiber optic, internet, Wi-Fi.
  • Plumbing - water supply piping, water treatment systems, sanitary drainage, fixtures, laundry appliances, plumbing vents, septic tanks, fire protection systems, and pumps and equipment for pools and spas.
  • Water Supply Systems - wells, water connections, and filtration and treatment systems
  • Fuel Systems - fuel gas and oil supply pipes, oil tanks, propane tanks, meters, pumps, and gas and oil-fired equipment, and appliances.
  • Conveyances - elevators, escalators and lifts.
FEMA Seeks Comment on Draft Policy GuidanceApril2017NFIP
In May 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a draft policy guidance document for communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regarding floodplain development permit requirements.  Through this guidance, a community can ensure compliance with NFIP regulations and their local floodplain management regulations, while potentially reducing the administrative burden associated with the floodplain development permitting of certain types of low or no impact development utilizing the Review, Assess and Document (RAD) process.  Municipal floodplain managers are encouraged to  comment on the draft policy guidance online before the comment period ends on August 23, 2017.
Free Topographic Quadrangle Maps from NatGeoNatGeoTopo
National Geographic has launched a free website to easily find, download and print any USGS 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle map in the contiguous United States.  It can often be difficult to find the exact topographic map you need, and the available data is often not formatted for standard printer paper.  The National Geographic website solves both of these issues.  The homepage greets you with a searchable, interactive map.  All you have to do is search for or zoom in on the area you are looking for. Then, once you find your quad, just click on it and a printable PDF loads up.
Climate Adaptation Academy Focuses on Legal IssuesCAALegal
The Climate Adaptation Academy (CAA), a partnership of the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and Connecticut Sea Grant, provides an informational forum to community leaders, researchers, engineers, homeowners and others to discuss issues and best practices related to climate adaptation topics.  In 2015, the CAA held a workshop entitled Legal Issues in the Age of Climate Adaptation, which focused on legal issues involving property rights, zoning, flooding, and rebuilding after a storm.  As an outcome of this workshop, the CAA prepared four new legal issues fact sheets:

Takings and Coastal Management


Property and Permitting Boundaries at the Shoreline


Flood and Erosion Control Structures


Governmental Tort Liability for Disclosure of Flood Hazard Information

Interesting ReadingReading
Connecticut's Rising Seas: Are Towns & Cities Ready?,  Connecticut Magazine, March 28, 2017

Poll:  Nearly 75% of Voters Back Flood Reforms, The Pew Charitable Trusts, April 5, 2017
America's Aging Dams Are In Need of Repair New York Times, February 23, 2017

2017 CRS Coordinator's Manual ReleasedCRSManual2017

In March 2017, FEMA released the 2017 CRS Coordinator's Manual.  The new manual will be implemented by FEMA immediately, but changes will not take effect for any community until that community's next cycle verification visit.  This edition has an expiration date of March 31, 2020. 


The new edition incorporates many improvements, clarifications, and minor corrections, but no major changes.  Nothing will require substantive changes to a community's current CRS program or procedures.  Changes from the previous editions will be marked with vertical bars in the page margins of the 2017 manual.  The changes have been discussed in issues of NFIP/CRS Update newsletters, beginning in September/October 2016. 


The CRS webinar series will include training courses on the new items in the 2017 CRS Coordinator's Manual and other topics to assist communities.  See the "Training Opportunities" section below for a list of these upcoming CRS webinars.     

Training OpportunitiesTrainings

NFIP-related training webinars are available through STARR, a FEMA contractor.  Below is a list of upcoming webinars.  To register, go to the NFIP training website  and  click "Training Center" on the top bar, and then on the "Upcoming" tab.  When asked during registration what FEMA Region you are in, please reply "1".
  • June 20, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Preparing for a Verification Visit
  • June 21, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Developing Outreach Projects (Activity 330)
  • June 22, 2017, 1:00pm - Floodplain Development Permit Review
  • June 22, 2017, 1:00pm - Inspecting Floodplain Development
  • June 23, 2017, 1:00pm - Integrating Community Wildfire Protection Plans and Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans
  • July 18, 2017, 1:00pm - Changes in the 2017 CRS Coordinator's Manual
  • July 19, 2017, 1:00pm - Elevation Certificates
  • July 20, 2017, 1:00pm - Developing an Effective Mitigation Strategy
  • August 15, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Preparing an Annual Recertification
  • August 16, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Flood Warning & Response (Activity 610)
  • August 25, 2017, 1:00pm - Incorporating Climate Adaptation into Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning
  • September 19, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Preparing for a Verification Visit
  • September 20, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Floodplain Management Planning (Activity 510)
  • October 17, 2017, 1:00pm - Introduction to CRS
  • October 18, 2017, 1:00pm - Developing a CRS Program for Public Information Planning
  • November 14, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Preparing for a Verification Visit
  • November 15, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Working with Repetitive Loss Properties
  • December 12, 2017, 1:00pm - Introduction to the CRS
  • December 13, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS and Coastal Hazards


H2O Partners offers short training videos on the following topics:
  • Demonstrating the Elevation Certificate
  • How the NFIP Works for the Floodplain Professional
  • Effects of Flood Map Changes
  • Role of the Elevation Certificate in Floodplain Management

June 21, 2017 (rain date June 23):  Field Tour - Meriden Green/Harbor Brook Flood Control Project, 10:00am to noon, $15 includes lunch, 2 CECs for CFMsto register visit CAFM website.
SAVE THE DATE - October 25, 2017 - CAFM 4th Annual Conference, check back on the  CAFM website  soon for more details.
October 25-27, 2017:   2017 FLASH National Disaster Resiliency Conference, Atlanta, GA, www.flash.org/2017meeting/.

June 17-22, 2018:  Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ, www.floods.org.

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 $100/week).  Below is a select list of floodplain management classes offered into September 2018.  The classes in 2018 are shown in parentheses and italics. A full list of training classes can be found at the EMI website.  

E170  HAZUS-MH for Hurricane - July 24-27, (2018:  May 7-10)
E172  HAZUS-MH for Flood
- October 30-November 2, (2018:  April 23-26)
E174  HAZUS-MS for Earthquake - (2018:  April 9-12)
E176  HAZUS-MH for Floodplain Managers - (2018:  March 26-29)
E179  Application of HAZUS-MH for Disaster Operations - Sept. 11-14, (2018:  Sept. 17-20)
E190  ArcGIS for Emergency Managers - July 31-August 3, December 18-21 
E210  Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role (2018:  April 23-26, August 27-30)
E212  Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program: Developing Quality Application Elements - (2018:  April 30-May 3)
E213  Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program:  Application Review and Evaluation -
(2018:  June 25-26)
E214  Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program:  Project Implementation and Programmatic Closeout(2018:  June 27-28)
E273  Managing Floodplain Development through the NFIP - August 21-24, Dec. 4-7, (2018: May 7-10, August 27-30)
E276  Benefit-Cost Analysis:  Entry Level  - August 3-4, (2018: January 17-18, Sept 12-13)
E278  Community Rating System (CRS) - September 11-14 (2018: March 26-29, June 25-28)
E279  Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Buildings - (2018:  May 14-17)
E282  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts I - (2018:  July 30 -August 2)
E284  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts III - July 24-27, (2018: July 23-26)
E296  Application of HAZUS-MH for Risk Assessment - August 14-17
E312  Fundamentals of Building Science -    September 25-28, (2018:  September 24-27)
E313  Basic HAZUS-MH - September 25-28, (2018: March 5-8, July 16-19) 
E317  Comprehensive Data Management for HAZUS-MH - September 25-28
E386  Residential Coastal Construction - August 28-31, (2018:  August 13-16)
E582  Mitigation for Tribal Governments - (2018:  July 16-19)

EMI also offers free Independent Study courses on various aspects of the NFIP aimed at  community officials, surveyors, insurance agents, and claims adjusters.  These web-based courses are free and can be taken at your own pace. Below is a sample of courses available.  Independent study courses are also available for other topics in emergency management, hazard mitigation planning, disaster response and dam safety.    

IS-10.a     Animals in Disasters:  Awareness & Preparedness
IS-11.a     Animals in Disasters:  Community Planning
IS-30a      Mitigation eGrants for the Subgrant Applicant
IS-42       Social Media in Emergency Management
IS-111.a   Livestock in Disasters
IS-212.b   Introduction to Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA)
IS-276      Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) Fundamentals
IS-277      Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA):  Entry Level
IS-279.a   Introduction to Retrofitting Flood-prone Residential Structures
IS-284      Using the Substantial Damage Estimator 2.0 Tool
IS-366.a   Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
IS-386      Introduction to Residential Coastal Construction
IS-393.a   Introduction to Hazard Mitigation
IS-394.a   Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster
IS-552      The Public Works Role in Emergency Management 
IS-554      Emergency Planning for Public Works
IS-556      Damage Assessment for Public Works
IS-558      Public Works and Disaster Recovery
IS-559      Local Damage Assessment
IS-634      Introduction to FEMA's Public Assistance Program
IS-1100.a  Increased Cost of Compliance
IS-1101     Basic Agent Tutorial
IS-1102     Theory of Elevation Rating
IS-1103     Elevation Certificate for Surveyors
IS-1104     NFIP Claims Review for Adjusters
IS-1105     EC Made Easy:  Elevation Certificate Overview
IS-1106     FEMA Mapping Changes
IS-1107     Adjuster Customer Service
IS-1108     Insuring Condominiums
IS-1109     Understanding Basement Coverage
IS-1110.a  Writing Commercial Exposures
IS-1111     Introduction to Commercial Claims
IS-1112     Introduction to Flood Claims
IS-1113     Coastal Barrier Resources Act
IS-2001     Threat and Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA)
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, Land and Water Resources Division.  Editor:  Diane Ifkovic, State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator, email:  diane.ifkovic@ct.gov.
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Please contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov if you; have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.