Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prepare Your Community for Winter Flooding Risks

The arrival of cold weather doesn't mean that the risk of flooding is over. In fact, winter often brings severe conditions such as snow, heavy rains, melting, and ice jams, which can pose major problems for home and business owners in your community. In coastal areas, winter storms such as Nor’easters often generate high winds that can cause widespread beach erosion and coastal flooding.

Some communities in western states face days and even weeks of rain during the winter months, and others face an increased risk of flooding because of wildfires that burn away vegetation and leave the ground barren and unable to absorb water. Near the end of the season, melting snow can flow into lakes, streams and rivers, causing excess water to spill over their banks or overtop levees.

Now is a good time to ensure that residents of your community are protected by flood insurance. Encourage them to visit to learn about their flood risk and find an agent who can protect them with a flood insurance policy. In addition, visit FloodSmart’s new partner section at to learn about the wide variety of communications tools that are available to you, such as:

• Testimonials from home and business owners impacted by flooding.
• Shareable interactive tools that you can post on your own websites.
• A Map Updates Toolkit and links to information about map changes around the United States, which will help residents of your community better understand their flooding risks.
• A Flood Outreach Toolkit, which provides resources to help the audiences you communicate with on a regular basis (other community officials, the public and the media) understand the importance of flood preparedness and protection. The materials are designed to support your outreach to victims of flood disasters. The materials include core messages and information about flood risk and flood insurance that are appropriate for use in most areas of the country. Find this toolkit online at

Two-Year PRP Eligibility Extension Working Well Two-Year PRP Eligibility Extension Continues to Benefit Policyholders

On January 1, 2011, FEMA launched a new rating option called the Two-Year Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension that enables property owners who find themselves newly mapped into high-risk areas to save money on their policies. To help launch the new rating option, FEMA used the FloodSmart campaign to reach out to the public, agents, WYOs, community officials and other stakeholder groups.

The purpose was to inform them about the new cost-savings option and how property owners could apply. The various stakeholder groups showed great support by sharing the information.

FEMA recently updated a WYO industry committee on its progress and reported that 40,000 PRP Extensions are currently in force (through August 2011), with up to 100,000 expected by year’s-end. FEMA complimented and thanked the WYOs, agents, and community officials for helping make this a successful launch!

Make sure as your county or community goes through a mapping change that you are promoting both grandfathering and the 2-Year PRP Extension as well. For more information, go to

AnnouncementsNFIP Extended Until December 16 - With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) facing expiration on November 18, 2011, Congress passed on November 17th (and the President then signed) a short-term funding bill that included an extension of the NFIP. This extension expires on December 16, 2011. It is important that insurance agents and WYO companies continue to monitor the status of the NFIP. Should the Program lapse, FEMA has issued updated guidance for agents and WYOs in NFIP Bulletin W-11084


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