Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria News, Updates & Resources
The ASFPM executive office continues to monitor response and early recovery efforts in support of our members and mission. State floodplain managers, hazard mitigation officers, and other state officials actively engaged in disaster response and recovery are encouraged to continue to coordinate closely with each other and contact ASFPM if we can be of assistance in any way. We also welcome those taking action to alert us to appropriate media coverage on your efforts.
All ASFPM members are invited to participate in the ongoing dialogue through our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages regarding Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and related national policy, practices and reforms to support effective floodplain and flood risk management in the aftermath of this disaster.
If you would like to support the response and recovery efforts of the communities impacted by these hurricanes, FEMA has jobs available. Check here for more information. Click here to find volunteer organizations looking for help in the hurricane-affected areas.
For Property Owners:
ASFPM urges those who experienced property damage to first register for disaster assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362.
If you have a flood insurance policy, contact your agent to file a claim. One feature of NFIP flood policy is called Increased Cost of Compliance or ICC. If your building has been declared substantially damaged, you may be able to access up to $30,000 through your policy to make your building able to withstand future flooding. This includes elevating, relocating or floodproofing it. Make sure to ask your agent to see if you are eligible for ICC. More information on ICC can be found here.
Before you repair or rebuild, you should be in immediate contact with your local floodplain manager and/or building department. Inspections and assessments of damage, especially for the purposes of a substantial damage determination, must be conducted prior to rebuilding. This important step helps assure that property owners access needed technical assistance and that reconstruction complies with local permitting, codes, and standards.
The Texas Water Development Board has posted a FEMA listing of floodplain managers by community on its website.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has posted a FEMA listing of floodplain managers by community, available here.
Additional Resources for Property Owners:
Increased Cost of Compliance: Policyholder's Processing Checklist
NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook (FEMA F-687) Sept. 28, 2017
Best Cleaning Products after a Flood. Hint: Mr. Clean won't cut it. Sept. 1, 2017
Steps to Building a #HurricaneStrong Home Sept. 5, 2017
What victims of Hurricanes Harvey & Irma can learn from Katrina as rebuilding begins Sept. 5, 2017
NFIP Bulletin: Activation of NFIP Catastrophic Event Enhanced Claim Payment Process Sept. 3, 2017
NFIP Bulletin: Extension of the Grace Period for Payment of NFIP Premiums Sept. 3, 2017
NFIP Bulletin: Guidance for Advance Payments for Hurricane Harvey Sept. 3, 2017
Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting (FEMA, P-312)
Provides "How-to" information and decision making tools for considering flood mitigation options of elevating, wet floodproofing, relocating, dry floodproofing, constructing small levees and floodwalls and demolishing homes.
Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage
Assists in the construction of buildings with building utility systems that are designed and built so that the buildings can be re-occupied and fully operational as soon as electricity and sewer and water are restored to the neighborhood
Flood Damage Reduction Measures Matrix (USACE-NFPC)
An initial assessment for selecting the appropriate Flood Damage Reduction measures for site specific criteria.
Flood Proofing: How to Evaluate your Options (USACE-NFPC)
A layperson's guide to evaluating and selecting flood proofing alternatives including simplified damage, cost, and performance analyses.
Tested and Certified Floodproofing Products (ASFPM, USACE, FM Approvals) New!
ASFPM’s national testing and certification program for flood barrier products (temporary barriers, door/window barriers, backwater valves) has qualified several products that homeowners can use to keep water out of their homes. These products must meet rigorous standards to qualify for participation in the program.
Resources for Local Officials:
Local officials in hurricane-affected areas have two state resource agencies they should utilize. The state floodplain manager (also called the state NFIP coordinator) oversees overall implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program and community floodplain management regulations. The state hazard mitigation officer (SHMO) is the entity that oversees the implementation of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) after a major disaster and can provide information on availability of HMGP funds. Click here to find your state floodplain manager and click here to find your state hazard mitigation officer and the resources available through their respective offices.
- Temporary Occupancy of Substantially Damage Structures after a Disaster [.pdf] New!
This fact sheet is designed to help floodplain administrators and building code officials understand whether communities may allow displaced property owners to occupy potential or declared Substantially Damaged residential structures until the structure can be brought into compliance with local floodplain management ordinances or building codes.
Grace Period Extended for Payment of NFIP Premiums for Hurricane Irma [.pdf] New!
- Addressing your Community's Flood Problems: A Guide for Elected Officials (ASFPM) [.pdf]
This publication from the mid-1990s is still relevant today. It explains basic concepts of floodplains and floodplain management, as well as framing arguments and issues related to flooding that are especially useful for elected officials. Includes mitigation success stories and a checklist for addressing a community's flood problems.
- Coastal No Adverse Impact Handbook (ASFPM)
The handbook introduces local officials and concerned citizens to No Adverse Impact (NAI) concepts, and suggests how a coastal community can use the NAI approach to minimize flood risks and maximize the benefits of their coastal environments.
- Digital Coast Website (NOAA)
Created by the Digital Coast Partnership and maintained by NOAA, this website provides a wealth of geospatial resources for coastal communities to assist in recovery/redevelopment planning and policies. Includes many tools including: a coastal inundation toolkit, a sea level rise viewer, coastal county snapshots and land cover atlas. The website also includes a Digital Coast GeoZone blog page dedicated to storm-related resources for coastal communities (it's also updated often).
- A Guide for Higher Standards in Floodplain Management (ASFPM Regulations Committee) [.pdf] (2013)
This guidebook provides options for communities that wish to implement floodplain regulations that exceed NFIP minimums, reduce flood damage, and reduce overall impacts of floods. Twenty-five common higher standards are described and model regulatory language is provided. Several standards are specific to coastal areas.
- Substantial Damage Estimator (FEMA)
Developed by FEMA, this tool can assist local officials in determining substantial damage of any flood impacted residential and non-residential structures for purposes of meeting local floodplain management regulations.
- Substantial Improvement/ Substantial Damage Desk Reference (FEMA)
This document provides practical guidance and suggested procedures to implement the NFIP requirements for Substantial Damage and Substantial Improvement.
- Benefit-Cost Analysis Tool (FEMA) (2017)
The tool is used to perform benefit cost analysis for flood mitigation applications submitted under FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
- Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Next Generation (PAS 576)
This FEMA publication, developed in partnership with the American Planning Association, introduces community planners to policies for rebuilding and recovery after disasters and provides guidance on how to plan for post-disaster reconstruction.
- Subdivision Design and Flood Hazards Areas (PAS-584)
This FEMA publication, developed in partnership with the American Planning Association and Association of State Floodplain Managers identifies principles for resilient subdivision design and over 60 standards that exceed NFIP minimums that communities may wish to consider adopting.
Harvey, Irma & Maria News Stories Relevant to ASFPM's Mission:
Buyouts Won't be the Answer for Many Frequent Flooding Victims, ProPublica, Nov. 1, 2017
Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate: Four Storms, One Brutal Hurricane Season, CNN, Oct. 10, 2017
How a Historic House in Meyerland (Texas) was Elevated, Houston Chronicle, Sept. 26, 2017
Why Puerto Rico Faces Worse Perils than Texas and Florida, Wharton, Sept. 27, 2017
County Approves $20 Million Home Buyout Program, Click2Houston, Sept. 26, 2017
Why Hurricane Harvey will Happen Again, TexasMonthly, October 2017
After Harvey and Irma, what's the future of flood insurance? PBS NewsHour, Sept. 21, 2017
Homes Built to Stricter Standards Fared Better in Storm, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 16, 2017
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey: Policy Perspectives (Jim Blackburn, J.D.), Baker Institute for Public Policy, September 2017
One House, 22 Floods: Repeated Claims Drain Federal Insurance Program, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 15, 2017
Houston's Anything-goes Business Model Under Siege After Harvey, Bloomberg, Sept. 14, 2017
As Flooded Houston Neighborhoods Dry Out, Residents Wonder: Are They Worth the Risk? Washington Post, Sept. 14, 2017
Hurricanes Highlight Failure to Enforce Flood Insurance Rules, Bloomberg, Sept. 13, 2017
In the Wake of Harvey and Irma, How Money Moves through Government and into Disaster Aid Relief, AirTalk, Sept. 7, 2017
We Already Knew How to Reduce Damage from Floods, We just Didn't Do It, Washington Post, Sept. 3, 2017
Policy Changes Needed at Every Level to Survive the Next Storm, The Hill, Sept. 3, 2017
Stricter building rules, rejected by Trump, helped Harvey-hit communities, Reuters, Sept. 1, 2017
After the flood: When too early is too late, Huffington Post, Sept. 1, 2017
In maps: Houston and Texas flooding, BBC, Aug. 31, 2017
Harvey Could Reshape How and Where Americans Build Homes, Bloomberg, Aug. 30, 2017
Barker, Addicks reservoirs have peaked; officials expect no more flooding, KENS5, Aug. 31, 2017
With Harvey, imperfect engineering meets a perfect storm, Wired, Aug. 31, 2017
How Houston's layout may have made its flooding worse, CNN, Aug. 31, 2017
Flood insurance policies plunged before Harvey, AP, Aug. 30, 2017
A storm forces Houston, the limitless city, to consider its limits, The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2017
What 500-year flooding could look like around five cities, WaPo, Aug. 30, 2017
Hurricane Harvey: Houston has no quick way to get rid of floodwater, Scientific American, Aug. 30, 2017
For years, engineers have warned that Houston was a flood disaster in the making. Why didn't somebody do something? Los Angeles Times, Aug. 29, 2017
Houston's 'Wild West' growth, Washington Post, Aug. 29, 2017
The coming fight in Congress over Hurricane Harvey money, explained, Vox, Aug. 29, 2017
Harvey has lessons about flood risk and preparation, Baltimore Sun, Aug. 29, 2017
How Washington made Harvey worse, Politico, Aug. 29, 2017
The NFIP was already $24 billion in debt before Harvey, Vox, Aug. 29, 2017
Where are the floodplains in Houston: Check this map, KHOU, Aug. 28, 2017
What happened to the two reservoirs that were supposed to protect downtown Houston? Slate, Aug. 28, 2017
Trump reversed regulations to protect infrastructure against flooding just days before Hurricane Harvey, Business Insider, Aug. 28, 2017
Harvey is worst TX storm since '61's Carla. How it stacks up, ABC News, Aug. 27, 2017
Hell and High Water (Houston), ProPublica, March 3, 2016
As recovery and clean up begins after these devastating hurricanes, we know people across the country are asking what they can do to offer to aid their fellow Americans. For more information, check out this volunteering resource page from FEMA.
Updated Nov. 20, 2017