Avoid Hazards with Coordinated Planning - Flooding Resources

Flooding has a direct impact on businesses, as well as residents, and can lead to severe loss as people walk away from areas prone to flooding. This results in a huge loss on the part of the community, as property values decline and local lenders are left holding the bag. Many times, vacant and damaged buildings are left behind.With recent massive flooding along the Mississippi River and other areas, mitigation plans and ordinances are more important than ever. Flooding is the most common natural disaster, and it falls upon the various planning commissions within local governments to inform community members about what their available options are to meet these ends.

Two resources that are often underused and which help reduce the risk involved with flooding, and also with developing flood mitigation plans and ordinances on a local level, are the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Natural Mitigation Planning, both programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Recent changes in mitigation planning requirements have done away with the ways of the past, where the two programs operated separately and coordination was sporadic. Now, it is possible for a mitigation plan to directly impact floodplain management.

The Disaster Mitigation Plan of 2000 (DMA2K) required communities to adopt an all-natural hazards mitigation plan, otherwise they would not be eligible to receive funds from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), or from the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM). Run by FEMA, together, the programs provide millions of dollars annually for reducing hazards, including floods

In 2007, the DMA2K was revised to add three new requirements that allowed the National Flood Insurance Program and Natural Mitigation Planning to be linked. Mainly dealing with repetitive loss and showing that mitigation plans have been implemented, the new requirements also ask tougher questions in helping to determine a community’s readiness when it comes to disaster preparedness.

For more information about how these organizations can help you prepare for flooding, visit:
http://blogs.planning.org/postdisaster/?p=110