Working Together to Build
Back Stronger and Safer
Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Mitigation
Karen Helbrecht, Program Specialist
9:15-10:00 a.m.
January 31, 2013
 Strategic Foresight Initiative
• Overview
• Driving Forces
• Climate Change Implications
 Hurricane Sandy Recovery
• Advisory Base Flood Elevation Maps
• Policy Implications
• National Disaster Recovery Framework
 Moving Forward
• Mitigation Planning
• NHMA and the State of Vermont
 Perception of Risk
• 2012 Flood Survey Results
 Further Studies
 Q&A
Strategic Foresight Initiative:
 Understand factors driving change that will
impact emergency and disaster
management over a 20-year horizon
 Develop a shared sense of direction and
urgency in the emergency management
community that enables us to drive to
 Collectively prepare for the future across
 Plan for and take action to meet the
evolving needs
Strategic Foresight Initiative:
Driving Forces
U.S. Demographic Shifts
Changing Role of the Individual
Universal Access to/
Use of Information
Terrorist Threat
Technical Development
and Dependency
Climate Change
Climate Change Implications
 Coastal development patterns and demographics are changing
 Climate change and sea level rise are increasing the risk of inundation and
storm damage
 FEMA is assessing the “current risk”
• Using Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFEs), partners are working on future risk
NOAA Interactive Maps
 Interactive map shows
future areal extent of onepercent annual chance
coastal flood hazard areas,
resulting from sea level rise
Hurricane Sandy: Flood Risk
 New Jersey (10 Counties)
Released December 2012
• Atlantic County, NJ
• Bergen County, NJ
• Burlington County, NJ
• Cape May County, NJ
• Essex County, NJ
• Hudson County, NJ
• Middlesex County, NJ
• Monmouth County, NJ
• Ocean County, NJ
• Union County, NJ
 New York (8 Counties)
Westchester County and portions
of New York City were released
January 28, 2013
• Bronx County, NY
• Kings County, NY
• New York County, NY
• Queens County, NY
• Richmond County, NY
• Westchester County, NY
Remaining areas of New York will be released in February 2013
Hurricane Sandy: Flood Risk
 Prior to Sandy, FEMA was performing a restudy
of the New Jersey and New York coastline with
anticipated products to be delivered in mid2013
 Effective information for many of the areas of
NJ and NY does not currently reflect the best
available data
 FEMA provided near-term Advisory Base Flood
Elevations (ABFEs) to support reconstruction
 Advisory information reflects current risk
 Coastal flood zones updated using ABFEs may
extend further inland than the SFHAs shown on
current effective FIRMs
Advisories: Engaging Whole
Proposed Plan Post Data Release
(in order of timing)
What We Have Completed
Worked with DEP & SHMO on Outreach Plan
Gave ‘first look” at the data
Public/Elected Officials:
Conduct webinar with elected/public officials to give them a “first look” at the data
Conduct a “telethon” and reach out to counties and communities that have had the
greatest impact
Elected Officials:
Conducted ABFE Webinars for State &
Congressional Stakeholders
Will conduct “first look” at data prior to release
Public Officials: Conduct Public Official Outreach Meetings-base future outreach on specific
county/community needs
Public Officials: Conducted 7 ABFE Overview
Media: Send media packet and conduct media briefings
Public Officials: Called All County Planners, shared
ABFE overview and scheduled public outreach
Builders, Architects, and Engineers: Engage National, State, and Regional Associations on ABFE
importance & implications
Insurance, Builders & Architects: Defined a call
plan for reaching targeted groups in these
Insurance Community: Engage National, State, and Regional Associations on ABFE importance
& implications
Other Federal Agencies & Recovery Partners: Tie ABFEs into infrastructure, public works and
other recovery elements.
NGOs & Public Institutions: Engage the major NGOs and Public Institutions on ABFE importance
& implications
Hurricane Sandy: Elevated
See how building to higher standards helped Windansea Restaurant in
Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy Lessons Learned:
Coastal Residential Construction
 Key Takeaways:
• Setbacks key to reducing damages
• Inadequate foundations for coastal
flood and erosion conditions
• New construction was placed atop old
 Key Successes :
• Damage to V-zone house elevated
above Base Flood Elevation was
• Building setbacks and wide dunes
reduced damage
Hurricane Sandy Lessons Learned:
Critical Facilities
 Key Observations:
• Flood damage nearly all due to inundation
• Emergency power system design focus is to
mitigate normal power loss
• Flood protection plan typically two dimensions
 Key Take-Aways:
• Below-grade spaces and utility systems are
extremely vulnerable to inundation
• Emergency power systems are not being looked
at holistically
• Need to examine quick connects for temporary
power and other systems
Policy Implications: Biggert-Waters
Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
 On July 6, 2012 the President signed into law MAP-21
(P.L. 112-141), Otherwise known as the BiggertWaters Flood Insurance Reform Act 2012 or “BW 12”
 What it does:
• Reauthorized of NFIP for 5 years
• Eliminates a variety of existing flood insurance discounts
and subsidies.
 Results of the law:
• New flood insurance rates will reflect the true flood risk of an insured property.
• Policy rates could increase based on one or all of the following circumstances:
1. Change of ownership
2. Lapse in insurance coverage
3. Change in flood risk
4. Substantial damage or improvement to a building
National Disaster Recovery
Framework (NDRF)
Hurricane Sandy presented an opportunity to fully implement
the NDRF
 FEMA appointed Federal Disaster Recovery
Coordinators and Mitigation Advisors
 All 6 RSFs are still active with full participation
from supporting agencies and organization
 Mitigation and Recovery staff are ensuring a
coordinated approach to delivery all programs
State of Vermont & Tropical Storm
 State of Vermont received assistance from the
Environmental Protection Agency (APA)
 Partnered with the National Hazard Mitigation
Association (NHMA) and the Coastal Hazard Center
• Develop policy options to improve resiliency
• Create community guidance promoting long-term
• Evaluate selected state programs and policies
• Identify conflicts with what new river science reveals
about vulnerabilities to future flooding and erosion
Mitigation Planning
Evaluation of State Mitigation Plans
Areas for
• Overall plan quality has improved over the
past decade
• Articulating Goals
• Fact Based
• Mitigation Policies
• Implementation and Monitoring
• Inter- organizational coordination
• Participation across groups and Organization
Perception of Risk: 2011-2012 Flood
Survey Results – Flood Awareness
 There is a stark difference in perception of flood risk between the public and
local officials in Risk MAP areas vs. Non Risk MAP Areas
Do You Believe Your Community is at Risk of Flooding?
Flood Survey Results: Public
 Proximity to a hazard does not prompt action
• Being located near a flood hazard did not make
individuals feel that their community was at
greater flood risk, but it did make individuals feel
that their home was at greater risk
• Despite that, they did not act significantly
differently than those who were not located near
flood hazards in terms of their behaviors to
protect their homes against flooding
 Those who didn’t take action to reduce flood
risk didn’t think there was a risk
• 81% did not take actions because they did not believe there was a risk
• 5% mentioned cost as a reason
• 4% did not know what actions to take
Further Studies
 What truly informs local decision making on climate change adaptation?
 How do we see, from a adaptation standpoint, the integration of
economics, housing, infrastructure, health and social services, and
natural and cultural resources?
 How can we better integrate programs and processes across Federal
agencies, State departments, and local governments?
Roy Wright| [email protected]
Karen Helbrecht| [email protected]

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