Floods are an Act of God. Flood damages are an act of Man. Gilbert White
Standing water pushing against a structure. This is one of the main causes of flood damage.Because water is fluid, it exerts the same amount of pressure sideways as downward. Most walls are not built to withstand lateral pressure.
Water weighs 62.4 pounds per cubic foot.
Basement walls and floors are particularly susceptible to hydrostatic pressure. Not only is the water deeper, a basement is subjected to the combined weight of water and saturated earth. Water in the ground underneath a flooded building will seek its own level – resulting in uplift forces that can break a concrete basement floor
If the pressures do not break apart the walls or floor, buoyancy pressures can exert significant upward pressures on a foundation.
Elevation certificates themselves are not specified, but professional certification of elevation requirements is. Elevation certificate is best way to show that.
In July 2012, Congress passed the Biggert – Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act to extend the NFIP for five years and make significant changes in insurance and mapping requirements. The insurance requirements are designed to make the NFIP self supporting. However the changes will have significant consequences within your community.
I’m going to focus on the flood insurance portions of the Bill.
Let’s begin with some New York State data.Flood zone data includes both pre and post FIRMSo about 65,000 structures impacted by BW12.
Contents coverage is extra and is optional.
Here is a quick summary of the changes in flood insurance rates that are planned for 2013. First, subsidized rates are beginning to be phased out.What is a subsidized rate?A subsidized premium rate is one that does not reflect the true risk of flood to that property. Homes located in a high-risk flood zone (i.e., zones beginning with an “A” or “V”, for Velocity Zone) that were built before the first flood insurance rate map became effective, and that have not been substantially damaged or improved, may currently be receiving subsidized rates. These subsidized rates for “pre-FIRM” homes will be phased out. Second, some policies that previously could be issued at lower rates will move to full-risk rates.
So if you sell a home that currently has a pre-FIRM policy, the buyer would immediately be charged a full actuarial rate for a flood insurance policy. That could cost thousands. This will significantly impact property values. In lower income areas, financing will be impossible to obtain due to the high cost of flood insurance. Some properties will be abandoned.
Another provision of the law, Section 100207, calls for discounts, including grandfathering, to be phased out. Due to the complexity of the requirement, FEMA must conduct an analysis before full implementation takes place, which is not anticipated until August 2014. Rates are anticipated to rise 20 percent per year over a 5-year period until they reach full actuarial rates.Also keep in mind that a separate discount, the Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension, will be discontinued when the new grandfathering provisions are implemented. The PRP Eligibility Extension allows people newly mapped into a high-risk area to temporarily retain lower-cost Preferred Risk rates.
And here’s the bottom line: These changes could be expensive for property owners who don’t already pay full-risk rates. But there are ways you can help your clients save money.
Bw12 presentation 1.5 hour with crs and darlingotn
National Flood Insurance Program
The Biggert – Waters
Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Water
Bureau of Flood Protection and Dam Safety
Floods are the Nation’s Most
• 80% of all Presidentially Declared Disasters involve flooding
- $5 Billion in 2010
• Sandy will be one of the most expensive flood disaster ever
• Flooding is one disaster that can be mapped
• Flood maps are vital tools:
– Sustainable Community Development
– Emergency Management
– Personal Protection
– Property Protection
What Is the
Special Flood Hazard Area?
It is the blue shaded area on the Flood
Insurance Rate Map, commonly known as
the 100-year flood plain, but more
accurately thought of as the area that has a
1% chance or greater of experiencing a
flood in any given year. This flood is called
the “base flood.”
Definition of Base Flood
• A flood that has a one-percent chance of being
equaled or exceeded in any given year. It often is
referred to as the "100-year" flood.
– 26% chance of occurring in a 30-yr period
– 39% chance of occurring in a 50-yr period
– 63% chance of occurring in a 100-yr period
A 500-Year Flood? How did That
• This is a statistical concept
• 0.2% Probability per Year
• 6% Probability over 30 Years
• Greater Than Chance of Fire
Floodplain 101 in Two Slides
• NO BASEMENTS
• Studied Floodplains: Lowest floor at least 2 ft
above BFE (R3184.108.40.206, R324.2.1)
• Unstudied Floodplains: Lowest floor at least 3
ft above highest adjacent grade
• Almost all Development Requires Permits
• Floodway Development Requires Study
• Storage of Materials may Require Permit
• Stuff FLOATS…Anchor Everything!
• New Structures Require Elevation Certificates
• Floodplain Residence May Need Rescue!
• Keep the Bulldozer out of the Creek!
• Call DEC with Questions
What is the Risk?
• 100-year flood?
• One percent chance per
=26% chance over 30 years
• 500-year flood?
– 6% over 30 years
• Your Flood may not
have been a One –
Flood Probability over 30
Where Are We: NFIP?
NYS, 11/10 NYS 8/12 NYS, 3/13 U.S., 1/13
Policies 162,965 167,455 176,000 5.6 million
Premiums $147 Million $157 Million $170 million $3.6 billion
Coverage $38.6 Billion $41.4 Billion $42 billion $1.3 trillion
Claims to Date 84,825 105,674 162,504 2.0 million
Claim Payments $631 Million $1.2 Billion $3.1 Billion $45.5 billion
$18.8 billion before Sandy. $9 billion more?
•Prior to 2005, Program was largely self supporting.
•Policy structure not set up to handle catastrophic losses.
•Fund was never capitalized.
•1% of policies represent 1/3 of all claims.
•Congress wants program to be on a sounder financial footing.
•It will take years to pay off debt.
Flood Insurance Reform Act
Changes to the NFIP
• Flood Insurance
• Mitigation Programs
• Levees and Flood Protection
• Building Code Enforcement
• Assortment of Studies
Flood Insurance Categories
– Built prior to Community’s First Flood Insurance Rate Map or
1974, Whichever is Later
– 79% of the state’s building stock was built prior to 1980
– 132,882 of 176,000 policies in NYS are Pre-FIRM (75.5%)
– About 65,000 of them are paying subsidized rates
• Flood Zones
– VE: Coastal Flood Zone with Wave Runup >3’
• 1,973 Policies
– A or AE Stillwater Flood Zone: Coastal, Lake or Riverine
• 83,441 Policies
– B, C or X zone
• 90,916 Policies
Flood Insurance Costs
• Post FIRM: Actuarial
– The Higher the Lowest Floor; The Less the Cost
– $100,000 coverage with lowest floor BFE+2’ =
$230 - $270
• Pre-FIRM: Subsidized by Rate Payers
– Typical home with Basement Pre-FIRM Rates
$1050 - $2750 (not including contents)
– Actuarial costs could be up to $9000
Flood Insurance Costs*
• V zones are Highest;
– Built to Code (BFE + 2’): $1120 - $5000
• Depending on amount of coverage and value of structure
– Pre-FIRM: $1680 - $5200
• A zones
– Built to Code (BFE + 2’): $230 - $540
– Pre-FIRM: $1050 - $2750
• B, C or X zones, Less than 1% Annual Chance of Flood
– Preferred Risk Rate: $282 - $417
– X Zone Rate (If claim history): $721 - $1390
*Assumes $100,000 to $250,000 coverage, single family home.
Rates will vary based on amount insured and deductable.
Flood Insurance: What’s Changing?
• Phases out Pre-FIRM (subsidized) Rates for:
– Non Primary Residences (being implemented now)
– Business Properties (beginning Aug 2013)
– Property Damages that Cumulatively Exceed Market Value
or Severe Repetitive Loss Buildings (beginning Aug 2013)
• Rates Increase 25%/year until Actuarial Rate
Flood Insurance continued
• Direct Move to Full Risk Rates:
– After Sale or Purchase of a Property
– After a Policy Lapse
– Policy for Refused FEMA Mitigation Offer
– For Any New Policy
– Substantial Damage or Substantial Improvement
(should be to code anyway)
• FEMA expects this to begin fall 2013
• No Phase In: Instant Actuarial Rate
• This will make it difficult to sell a pre-FIRM
Grandfathering of Insurance Premiums
Phased Out Beginning in 2014
• When Maps Change, Grandfathered Rates will No Longer
• New Rates phased in over 5-years.
• Applies to Non-Subsidized Policy Holders
• Also Applies to Previously Uninsured Properties Newly
Mapped into Flood Zones
• FEMA Unclear of Scope:
– Entire Remapped Community?
– Only Areas with Flood Zone Changes?
• Editors note: Pushback could hold back flood map
Other Flood Insurance Changes
• Limit of Annual Rate Increases capped at 20%
up from 10%
• Premiums Paid Annually or by Installments
• Limits on Bank’s Practice of Forced Placement
• Lender Penalties Increase from $350 to $2000
• Lender Penalty Fine Limit of $100,000
– Banks will be taking this seriously!
Flood Insurance Goal
• Pay Down Program Debt
• Establish Reserve Fund
• Rates set to Cover Average Historic Loss Years
– Includes Previously Excluded Catastrophic Loss Years in Average
• Ten-year Repayment Plan for Current Debt
– Unlikely after Sandy
• Allows Private Insurance to Satisfy Coverage Requirements
– May see some private insurers getting into the game BUT
– If this happens, we’ll see cherry picking, with riskier policies in
the NFIP fund
• Establish Process to Allocate between Wind & Flood
BW-12 Bottom Line
• The elimination of subsidies and discounts will
mean big increases for some property owners
– Properties that do not meet current requirements (e.g., below
the current Base Flood Elevation) could see rates increase
• Properties that meet current requirements still
could see increases when new maps show higher
So how can you help residents
Ways to Lower Costs
• Flood and Hazard Mitigation Grants
– August 1 Letter of Intent deadline
• Community Rating System
• Increased Cost of Compliance
• Invest in Elevating your House. The annual cost
will likely be less than the added flood insurance
Costs to Elevate Structure
• About $90,000 Average depending on
Structure and Amount of Elevation
– Downstate figures. Costs will vary.
• Additional Cost of Each Foot of Added
Elevation = @ $1.06 per Square Foot of
– 1000 Square Foot Footprint = $1060 for each extra
foot of elevation.
Changes to Mitigation Programs
• New National Flood Mitigation Fund
– Repetitive Insurance Claims Program
– Severe Repetitive Loss Properties Program
– Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)
Flood Mitigation Programs
• Federal Share Requirement:
– Up to 100% for Severe Repetitive Loss
– Up to 90% for Repetitive Loss
– Up to 75% for Other Mitigation Loss Properties
Flood Mitigation Plan
• Required for Flood Mitigation Programs
• Can now be part of Community’s Multihazard
• Adds to Mitigation Activities
– Elevation, Relocation, or Floodproofing Utilities
– Demolition and Rebuild
Levees and Flood Protection
• Establish A Flood Protection Structure
Accreditation Task Force with Army Corps
• Allows Premiums to be same as Fully
Protected areas for Adequate Progress in
Reconstruction or Improvement of Flood
Building Code Enforcement
• Allows use of Community Development Block
Grant Funds for:
– Increasing Staff
– Providing Hazard & Insurance Info to Residences
• Analysis of Max Coverage Limits and Private
• Annual Program Financial reports including:
– Efforts to Purchase Substantial Damaged Property
– Analysis of the Nature of Losses
• National Academy of Science (NAS) study of
Risk Behind Levees
• GAO Report on Pre-FIRM Structures including:
– Length of Ownership
– Income of Owners
– Compare Losses to Post-FIRM
– Cost of Subsidies to Pre-FIRM Structures
– Options for Eliminating Subsidies
• GAO & FEMA Study of Reinsurance &
Privatization of the NFIP
And More Studies
• FEMA Study of Using Nationally Recognized
Building Code as Part of Floodplain
• GAO Study of Business Interruption and Living
• FEMA/NAS Study of maintenance of flood
insurance & affordability framework
• Federal Insurance Office study of Market for
Natural Catastrophe Insurance
• Get an Elevation Certificate
– This will tell you how high your insurance will go
• Elevate your utilities
– FEMA may provide insurance benefits for elevated
• Look at long term costs and benefits of
elevating your house or flood proofing your
East Rockaway, NY
• Home Remodeling early 2012
• Improvements exceeded 50% of
• Village enforced substantial
• Owner “begrudgingly” accepted.
Elevated to 2’ above Base Flood
• Neighborhood took on 4’ of water
• Water reached bottom of top step.
• Home was dry; Family was safe
• FEMA is required by Congress to establish actuarial
• Current rating only looks at lowest floor and BFE.
• Other Ideas for FEMA:
– Consider depth and frequency of flooding
– Consider partial mitigation such as elevating utilities and
emptying and wet floodproofing basements
– Consider flood-proofing of large, multi-family residential
– Consider long term flood insurance financing tied to
funding of mitigation
– Consider community based flood insurance
Added Cost to Elevate Paid Back in
Reduced Flood Insurance
2 story house, 1000 square feet,
A Zone, New Construction
Elevation above BFE
Added Cost to
Flood Insurance: Pay
Back in Years
0 $0 $1,331
1 $1,060 $737 1.8
2 $2,120 $568 2.8
3 $3,180 $536 4.0
4 $4,240 $520 5.2
Estimated cost: $1.06 per square foot per foot of additional elevation.
Source: FEMA 312: Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting, June 1998, Page 44. Costs
adjusted to 2013 dollars.
Flood insurance rates are due to rise due to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform
Act of 2012. As such, the pay back periods will decrease.
Example: Darlington, WI
• Population: 2,451
• Main St. is on National
Register of Historic
• Long History of Flooding
• Destructive Flood in
• Declining Property
• Dying Business District
Darlington Tackles Flood Mitigation
• Business Owners covered Costs of
Rehabilitation and Historic Preservation
• Home Owners Encouraged to Purchase Flood
• Historic Business Structures Brought into
Compliance with ADA
• Downtown Historic Preservation a Key
Darlington Flood Mitigation
• Structural and Non-Structural Mix
– Flood Shields to Flood-proof Lower Levels of Historic
• Business Lowest Floor Elevations Raised
• Basements were Filled
• Some Businesses were Relocated
– 13 Commercial Properties Demolished
– New 33 Acre Business Park out of Floodplain
• 19 Commercial Buildings Floodproofed and
Darlington Mitigation Funding
• $2.3 Million Total
– FEMA’s HMGP
– FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood
– U. S. Department of Commerce Economic
– State of Wisconsin Funding
Darlington Business District
Vestibule Steps to First Floor
ADA Ramps from Parking in Rear
• Increased Property Values
– Business Property Appraisals Doubled
• Residents, Including Seniors, Remaining in
• Flooding Hit Again in 2007 and in 2008
– Flood Shields and Elevations Protected Businesses
– Utilities were Elevated and were not damaged
CRS and Stormwater
• Community Rating System: A way to reduce
flood insurance premiums
• MS4 requirements can result in a lot of CRS
• Hazard mitigation planning can also generate
COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM
• Provides incentive for local officials to implement
requirements that exceed NFIP minimum criteria
• Grants flood insurance program credits calculated for
activities undertaken to
– Reduce flood losses
– Facilitate accurate insurance rating
– Promote the awareness of the benefits of flood
CRS APPLICATION PROCESS
To apply, a community must
• Complete the Application Worksheets, and
• Submit documentation that CRS Schedule
activities are being implemented.
The FEMA Regional Office and the State NFIP
Coordinator review and comment on the application.
About $1 Million/Year currently saved in NYS
This isn’t enough!
CRS APPLICATION PROCESS
• Inform DEC or FEMA of interest.
• Provide FEMA with letter of interest signed by
chief elected official
– DEC can provide sample
• DEC or FEMA will conduct Community
– There may not be violations
CRS APPLICATION PROCESS (Continued)
The Federal Insurance Administration
• Verifies information and community's
implementation of activities,
• Sets the credit to be granted, and
• Notifies the community, State, insurance
companies, and other appropriate parties.
400 MAPPING AND REGULATORY
• 410 Additional Flood Data
• 420 Open Space Preservation
• 430 Higher Regulatory Standards
• 440 Flood Data Maintenance
• 450 Stormwater Management
Activity 450: Stormwater Management
• Stormwater Management Regulation
– Peak Runoff Control from New Development
– 225 Points Maximum
• Stormwater Management Master Plan
– Regulatory Standards Based on Plan
– 225 Points Maximum
• Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations
– 45 Points Maximum
• Water Quality Regulation
– BMP’s for new developments over 5 acres
– 25 Points Maximum
500 FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION
• 510 Repetitive Loss Projects
• 520 Acquisition and Relocation
• 530 Retrofitting
• 540 Drainage System Maintenance
Activity 540: Drainage System
• Channel and Basin Debris Removal
– Inspect Drainage System & Remove Debris
– Up to 300 Points
• Stream Dumping Regulations
– Up to 30 points
600 FLOOD PREPAREDNESS ACTIVITIES
• 610 Flood Warning Program
• 620 Levee Safety
• 630 Dam Safety
– NYS Dam Safety Program gets 60 points.
• The Risks are Real!
• The Costs are High!
• Government is Less and Less Willing to Subsidize Risk.
• New Buildings need to meet Standards … And then
• Consider Building Higher Adjacent to Flood zones …
Maps can change!
• Costs of Building Higher far exceeded by Reduced Risk
and Lower Flood Insurance
• BUT: This will have serious impacts in flood prone