FEMA’s Flood Maps in most cases are several years if not decades old. By law they required to be updated every 5 years.
The NFIP calculates risk, flood insurance premiums and building requirements on these flood maps.
Trying to predict future storms and flooding is a difficult endeavor. But trying to predict future flooding from decades old maps is a recipe for massive mistakes.
We can see the mistakes by; seeing the large amount of SRL (Severe Repetitive Loss) properties, RL (Repetitive Loss) properties and the fact that 70-80% of homes that flood are not situated in a 1 in 100 year flood plain (SFHA – Special Flood Hazard Area).
We can see the mistakes because the NFIP is 24 Billion dollars in the red.
We can complain, but what are the solutions?
Congress must immediately fund the remapping of the whole country. And continue the funding for future mapping to comply with FEMA rules of updating the Flood Maps every 5 years.
If our premiums are based on outdated maps, then our premiums will be outdated.
Furthermore the mandatory requirement to purchase flood insurance should be expanded from the 1 in 100 year storm to a 1 in 500 year storm level. We need to follow the Dutch, they plan their mitigation projects to 1 in 10,000 year storm levels. The Dutch have not flooded in over 50 years. We should follow their lead.
To further prove our point, Houston had 3 quantity 1 in 500 year storms…. three years in a row. It doesn’t matter if the flooding is coming from sea level rise, rain events, overbuilding, lack of flood plain management or a combination of all of them. The NFIP policyholders, by paying higher premiums, and the U.S. government eventually bail out homeowners who are not in the flood plain.Like this article? Chip in $5