Clear Communication of Flood RiskCommunication
The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), Section 28, required clear communication of flood risk to individual policyholders.   To meet this requirement, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reviewed the flood risk and underwriting information for every flood insurance policy.

Starting in January 2017, the NFIP will send a letter to all policyholders explaining the current level of flood risk and the relation of that risk to their premium rates.  Letters will be received about two months after policy renewal.   Policyholders who renewed policies between October 2016 and December 2016 will also receive their first mailing.  The NFIP will continue to mail the letter at each subsequent policy renewal, with all policyholders eventually receiving a letter. 

The NFIP has identified seven categories of policyholders to receive unique information based on their flood risk and current premium rates.   Seven different letters, as outlined below,  have been drafted depending on the level of risk.  The letters will explain that the NFIP has reviewed the property's flood risk and how the flood risk will impact what the policyholder pays for flood insurance.   Because policy information varies from one policy to the next, the letters encourage policyholders to contact their insurance agent to discuss their unique situation, or visit FEMA.gov/cost-of-flood to learn about their options.   The letters for each policyholder category are: 
  • Letter A:  Newly mapped into the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Letter B:  Standard X Zone, not grandfathered 
  • Letter C:  Standard X Zone, grandfathered 
  • Letter D:  Pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) subsidized rate, primary residences 
  • Letter E:  Pre-FIRM subsidized rate, non-primary residences and businesses 
  • Letter F:  Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) 
  • Letter G:  Post-FIRM, full actuarial risk
Information for insurance agents, copies of each category of letter, details about what each letter means, and tips for how individual policyholders can lower their flood risk (and potentially their flood insurance premiums) can be found at FEMA.gov/cost-of-flood

HFIAA requires gradual insurance rate increases for properties currently receiving artificially low (subsidized) rates, rather than immediate full-risk rate increases.  HFIAA requires increases to premiums for most subsidized properties of no less than 5 to 15 percent annually, but no more than 18 percent for an individual policyholder, with limited exceptions, until the premium reaches its full-risk insurance rate. The information will help policyholders make the best decisions about their flood risk, including how to better prepare for flooding disasters in their community.
Reducing Flood Risk To Residential Buildings That Cannot Be ElevatedElevated
Often it is not feasible to elevate existing residential structures.  The FEMA publication Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated focuses on mitigation measures other than elevation that can be used to protect properties from flooding and potentially reduce flood insurance premiums.  

Elevation may not be an option for a building with unique structural characteristics, such as connected row houses, town homes, brownstones and multi-family dwellings.  The publication discusses alternate measures, such as interior modification, retrofits, wet floodproofing, dry floodproofing, and the use of barriers.  Many of the recommendations will not lower flood insurance premiums, but may prevent some flooding.  Any method chosen must also meet local zoning and building codes and ordinances.
 
The recommendations in this publication do not apply to existing structures that have been substantially improved or damaged which then triggers full compliance with NFIP regulations.         
Storm Surge in the WinterSurge
Late summer tropical storms and hurricanes are not the only storms to bring strong winds, coastal flooding, and erosion.  In New England, winter nor'easters are considered just as dangerous, especially when several feet of snow and ice are involved.  Storm surge is not a wall of water as is often assumed, but rather a rapid rise of water several feet over a period of minutes.  Read more about the basics on storm surge and how to prepare your community for winter storm surge.
Open Houses for Revised Quinnipiac River Flood MapsPublicQRiver
On May 16, 2017, revised flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) will become effective in twenty communities within the Quinnipiac River watershed -  Ansonia, Branford, Bristol, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford*, Hamden, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Haven*, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Prospect*, Plainville, Southington, Wallingford, and Woodbridge
 
* Please note that Guilford, New Haven, and Prospect will have no changes to their current flood maps.  These three towns share a map panel with an adjacent community which will have map revisions within their corporate boundaries.  However, FEMA will still issue a revised panel to these three communities.
 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region I Boston office and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) will be holding two public open houses where residents can view the revised flood maps.  Federal and state officials will be available to answer questions on flood risk and flood insurance.  No formal presentations will be made during these open house events.  Residents may attend at any time during the session and no appointments are required.  Residents are encouraged to bring their elevation certificates and/or flood insurance policies to the open house in order to get the best information about how their flood insurance rates may be changing as a result of the revised maps and recent flood insurance program changes.
 
These meetings will be held from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the following locations:
 
Monday, March 13, 2017 - North Haven, Town Hall, 18 Church Street, Conference Room #1, Third Floor

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017  - Branford, Fire Department, 45 North Main Street

If Disaster Strikes Will You Be Covered?CAFMTwilight
The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has produced a homeowner's insurance guide to natural disasters.  The guide explores the major weather perils that may threaten a property. Homeowners will gain a better understanding of the different insurance products available, which varies for the types of disasters.  They will also learn many steps which can be taken to mitigate potential losses from natural disasters.  This guide is designed to help a homeowner answer these important questions:
  • What coverages are appropriate for my living arrangement?
  • Who sells these coverages?
  • What coverages do I need to purchase? Are they available?
  • What insurance coverage is sufficient to protect my home and belongings? 
  • What perils are covered in the policy I purchase?
  • What is the proper amount of insurance to purchase?
  • Are there steps I can take to lower my premium?
FloodListFloodList
FloodList is an online resource reporting worldwide flooding news  and spreading awareness about  flood risk.   FloodList includes articles on flood-related issues such as warning systems, mitigation and control, flood recovery, flood damage repair and restoration, and flood insurance.

CT Insurance Department Coastal Affordability ReportCIDReport
On January 12, 2017, the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) issued a report entitled  "Study of the Connecticut Homeowner Insurance Market and Coastal Affordability and Availability".   The CID worked with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to compile information from 94 homeowner insurance companies, examining data gathered from 2013 through June 2015.  Some highlights of the report include:
  
  • There is $675 billion worth of property insured on the Connecticut coastline, the 6th highest of 18 Atlantic Ocean coastal states.
  • 64% of all insured property in the state is on the coastline, third behind Florida and New York.
  • Nearly 60% of Connecticut is forested and the state is among the most densely populated. 
  • 65% of all new homeowners insurance business written in 2014 was in the coastal counties.
  • Average Connecticut premium for new coastal homeowners insurance policies decreased by 1.4% between 2013 and mid-2015.
  • Average Connecticut premium for new homeowners insurance policies statewide has increased by 6.5% since 2013.
  • Since 2010, 19 new licensed insurers have begun or expanded their homeowners business in Connecticut.              
Training OpportunitiesTraining
WEBINARS

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".
  • February 24, 2017, 1:00pm - Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning
  • March 2, 2017, 12:00pm - Floodplain Development Permit Review
  • March 2, 2017, 1:30pm - Inspecting Floodplain Development
  • March 21, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Preparing for a Verification Visit
  • March 22, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Changes in the 2017 CRS Coordinator's Manual
  • March 30, 2017, 1:00pm - How to Review a "No-Rise" Certificate
  • March 31, 2017, 1:00pm - Effective Public Engagement through Mitigation Planning
  • April 18, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  The Role of the Community CRS Coordinator
  • April 19, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Repetitive Loss Properties and the CRS
  • May 16, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  Introduction to CRS
  • May 17, 2017, 1:00pm - CRS:  CRS and Coastal Hazards

V IDEOS

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
 
CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF FLOOD MANAGERS (CAFM)

March 8, 2017:  CAFM Twilight Series Training Event, Two Roads Brewing Company, 1700 Stratford Avenue, Stratford, CT , 6:00 pm, $25 registration by mail or $27 registration online.  To register, go to the  CAFM website .
 
   
CONFERENCES & WORKSHOPS
 
March 9, 2017:  Connecticut Association of Wetlands Scientists (CAWS) 2017 Annual Meeting and Environmental Conference, Southbury, CT, www.ctwetlands.org

March 13, 2017:   UCONN 11th Annual Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources, Storrs, CT, http://ccnr2017.weebly.com/.

March 18, 2017:  2017 Land Conservation Conference, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, www.ctconservation.org/2017-conference.

March 31, 2017:  Water:  Too Much or Not Enough? From Rain Bombs to Drought, UCONN Climate Adaptation Academy, Haddam, CT, sponsored by the  Rockfall Foundation.
 
April 6, 2017:   Rhode Island Flood Flood Mitigation Association (RIFMA) Annual Conference, Smithfield, RI, www.riflood.org.

April 30-May 5, 2017:  A ssociation of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) 41st Annual Conference , Kansas City, MO, www.floods.org .  

October 25-27, 2017:   2017 FLASH National Disaster Resiliency Conference, Atlanta, GA, www.flash.org/2017meeting/.


FEMA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

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 2017. A full list of training classes can be found at the EMI website.  
 

E170  HAZUS-MH for Hurricane - July 24-27
E172  HAZUS-MH for Flood
- June 12-15
E179  Application of HAZUS-MH for Disaster Operations - September 11-14
E190  ArcGIS for Emergency Managers - July 31-August 3
E202  Debris Management Planning for State, Tribal, Local Officials - June 5-8
E210  Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role -  April 10-13
E212  Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program: Developing Quality Application Elements - May 15-18
E214  Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program:  Project Implementation and Programmatic Closeout - June 21-22
E273  Managing Floodplain Development through NFIP - May 22-25, August 21-24
E276  Benefit-Cost Analysis:  Entry Level  - June 7-8, August 3-4
E278  Community Rating System (CRS) - March 20-23, June 26-29, September 11-14
E279  Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Buildings - May 22-25
E282  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts II - April 24-27
E284  Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts III - July 24-27
E296  Application of HAZUS-MH for Risk Assessment - August 14-17
E313  Basic HAZUS-MH - April 3-6
E317  Comprehensive Data Management for HAZUS-MH - March 13-16, September 25-28
E386  Residential Coastal Construction - August 28-31
E582  Mitigation for Tribal Governments - May 22-25
E727  E.O. 11988 & 11990:  Floodplain Management & Wetlands Protection - June 6-8


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, 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
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.