“The vulnerabilities are regional”: what the Dutch approach to flood management could mean for the US coast
This article from the New York Times interviews Henk Ovink, mastermind of the Rebuilding by Design competition, and follows the attempt to guide the US towards a more regional approach to flood management (both coastal and riverine). Other Dutch projects that could be interestingly applied in the US include Room for the River and Sand Motors (explanation in English of what a "sand motor" is and the site).
Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act in 2012 (BW12) in order to modernize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with new maps, new community outreach efforts, and flood insurance rates that reflected risk more accurately.
However, changes to BW12 are on the horizon.
First, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 prohibits FEMA from implementing Section 207 of BW12 until 2016 or later. This means that some properties will not have their insurance rates adjusted after new flood maps come out. Properties that have already had an insurance rate change will keep their new insurance rate. [More information is available from STARR].
And on March 4th, 2014, the House passed the Home Owner Insurance Affordability Act. The Senate also passed an act revising BW12 in January, so it looks like something is likely to pass both arms of Congress soon. Among other changes, the Act would "provide retroactive refunds for people who have had large flood insurance rate increases due to the sale or purchase of a home, cap average annual premium increases at 15 to 18 percent and allow subsidies for insurance rates that are based on current flood maps" (Insurance Journal).
“RiskMAP and CRS Synergy” is a recorded, one-hour webinar that introduces FEMA’s Community Rating System and Risk MAP initiative and shows how communities can use both to improve their floodplain management programs. Class materials, including the handouts, the presentation slides, and a summary of the Q & A are available for download at http://www.starr-team.com/starr/Training_Materials/Risk_MAP-CRS_Synergy. The recorded webinar can be accessed at http://j.mp/starr-recorded-training (click on “Recorded Sessions” at the left).
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