Floodplain Management for Modern Times, Part 4: FEMA Assistance and CFMs
FEMA Assistance for Flood-Prone Communities
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers pre- and post-disaster grants to communities. FEMA grants are administered through states. These funds help communities develop programs that improve public flood resiliency, assist homeowners with retrofitting buildings to implement modern building codes, and initiate mitigation measures.
Other federal agencies also offer funding to communities. The specifics of these programs are dependent on the agency’s priorities and allocation of funding. It is worth doing research to assess where your community should focus efforts in trying to obtain grant funding. Walden’s grant writers have extensive experience securing funds for communities and can help you identify the best opportunities for your current needs.
Life in a flood zone can be difficult for individuals, business owners, and community leaders.
The reasons why people choose to stay in such an area are numerous, complicated, and nuanced. However, it is important for members of communities in flood zones to understand that help in navigating risk management exists.
Through numerous insurance, grant, and educational programs, residents of such communities can better prepare for flood events and ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect their own safety and that of their families and communities. Additionally, local building departments can provide guidance on construction for projects in flood zones.
Communities eligible to participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) should document their flood management activities to qualify for community-wide insurance discounts.
In the case of risk management, as it pertains to flooding, communities could use the services of a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM). The CFM is a national program that certifies individuals to direct flood control programs for municipalities with an emphasis on mitigating risks. CFMs are required to take an exam demonstrating superior subject matter expertise and maintain their certification with continuing education credits.
People with this accreditation have extensive expertise in helping municipal leaders understand the risks to their community and what they can do to address them. In addition to providing guidance on issues related to flood management, a good CFM consultant can also point community leaders to sources of funding for spreading awareness, spearheading mitigation, or hardening efforts.
To ensure your CRS community is getting the maximum benefits available, municipal leaders should designate a CRS coordinator. This person is often also the CFM. They can serve as the liaison between various regulating agencies, maintain records for all implemented activities, and keep records for verification visits.
With the right information and technical assistance, at-risk communities prone to flooding can make decisions that save money and could save lives. If you need help navigating floodplain and coastal management for your community, read Walden’s complete floodplain guide or contact us at 516-758-1273 to speak with our CFM on staff.