About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise? Print E-mail
Written by Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM   
Sunday, 23 April 2017

A 271Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the due date for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). While some may think of the NFIP as an ancient behemoth ready for the scrap pile, I see it as improving the lives of many as it adapts to changing conditions imposed by land development, sea level rise, erosion, and precipitation pattern changes. So I support reauthorizing the program, seeing a sunrise in its current efforts for dramatic changes, as will be described here.

Upon creating the NFIP back in 1968, Congress observed that "despite the installation of preventive and protective works and the adoption of other public programs designed to reduce losses caused by flood damage, these methods have not been sufficient to protect adequately against growing exposure to future flood losses." [42 USC 4001(a)]

As part of a resolution to this situation, rather than employ a "top down" dictate, the NFIP tried to encourage State and local agencies to adjust land use in areas subject to flood damages (lessening new development and armoring existing sites), while providing a consistent set of minimum protective measures that communities participating in the Program would have to meet to take advantage of the technical assistance and flood insurance coverage that the NFIP offers. Congress also committed the NFIP to ongoing studies of flood hazards "in order to provide for a constant reappraisal of the flood insurance program and its effect on land use requirements." [42 USC 4001(e)]

Over the years I've been immersed in it, the NFIP has evolved significantly. Starting with the first Technical Mapping Advisory Council to FEMA (TMAC), input from technical users of data developed through the NFIP has pushed the Program to improved quality base mapping as well as digital availability of entire or portions of Flood Insurance Rate Maps and the data within them--remember paper maps and how long it used to take to get them or their updates?

While FEMA must address many more hazards than floods, it serves as Floodplain Management Central in the U.S. It launches research into reducing flood risks, studies forms of messaging to accomplish those reductions, and sets a consistent framework for local management of flood hazards and flood risks. Studies of factors that increase or reduce risk of flood damages have often been through partnerships with other agencies (including the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to share resources and increase everyone's knowledge base. Mapping accuracy, coastal erosion, riverine erosion, levee analysis--these are a small sample of collaborative research FEMA has undertaken and/or requested of the National Academy of Sciences.

While it was Congressional mandate to convene a second TMAC, the advisory group's first four reports issued in its first two years (2015, 2016) are seen by FEMA as a beacon into the future. In January of this year, FEMA requested TMAC to provide additional guidance on three main issues arising from those four reports.

Issue 1 addresses the floodplain management and mitigation impacts of transitioning away from the 1% annual chance flood hazard to providing structure-specific risk data (moving away from "in/out" determinations). FEMA requests TMAC to investigate the mapping tools that will be needed to support floodplain management with this change in approach. Additionally, what is the relevancy of the floodway concept in this context, and if floodways were no longer mapped, how would floodplain management standards (for maintaining an area capable of conveying the full flow of a 1% annual chance event) be enforced?

Issue 2 speaks to the need for changes in flood hazard mapping products to support a redesign of the flood risk rating structure. FEMA asks TMAC how to accomplish effective communication, display, and delivery of hazards and risks, particularly in two areas:
1. Residual risk impacted by dams, levees, or other man-made structures; and
2. Areas of changing risk due to event-driven coastal erosion.

Issue 3 notes that TMAC's 2015 Future Conditions report raised significant issues, but also opportunities for information development and dissemination of future conditions information. Because of similar interests and varying perspectives of various Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, States, and others regarding rising sea levels, erosional hazards, and other future conditions, FEMA now asks how much of the extensive work envisioned and outlined in TMAC's recommendations is or could be fulfilled by other agencies and organizations?

Questions like these do not reflect a Program mired in the past. Instead, these changes in perspective and direction show progress in making the NFIP more responsive and effective in fulfilling its original and subsequently assigned missions. Please join me in actively supporting reauthorization of--and a new sunrise for--the NFIP.

Wendy Lathrop is licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor in NJ, PA, DE, and MD, and has been involved since 1974 in surveying projects ranging from construction to boundary to environmental land use disputes. She is a Professional Planner in NJ, and a Certified Floodplain Manager through ASFPM.

A 271Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev

Marc Cheves, PS 
Editorial: A Great Year to be a Surveyor
Some magazines have what are called "theme" issues. That is, most of the content is focused on one particular subject. In my 22+ years of survey magazine publishing, my philosophy has always been to have a little bit of everything in each issue, thereby eliminating the possibility that ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Case Examinations: Halverson v. Deerwood Village
Whew! We really beat the snot out of Bryant v. Blevins and practical locations. Well this month we're back on new case that hit the Minnesota Supreme Court's docket in 1982. We've got the familiar gymnastics of jurisprudence featuring an extraordinary array of flying rope stretchers ...
Read the Article
Michel Philips 
Extreme Environment Surveying
A Franco-Chilean team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 rugged handheld for marine cave surveying, gathering data to classify the inaccessible northern half of Madre de Dios for UNESCO World Heritage. The team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 ....
Read the Article
Erik Dahlberg 
The Original Green Engineers
Sometimes, it's best just to leave things as you found them. That's the lesson shared by Dr. Richard Miksad and his students at the University of Virginia. As a result of studies covering nearly a decade, Miksad's teams have developed detailed ....
Read the Article
Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself 49: No Dimensions
In square A-C-D-B with side S, C-E is tangent to the semicircle Q1 with diameter B-D. Q2 is the inscribed circle of A-C-E. The tangent to Q1 and Q2 meets the sides of the square at F and H and intersects C-E at t G. Q3 is the inscribed circle of C-G-H. What is the ratio of the radii of circles ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
Discovery on Grizzly Peak
When First Lieutenant Montgomery M. Macomb arrived in Carson City, Nevada, from Washington D.C., on July 28, 1878, his assigned survey crew from the 4th Artillery was waiting and ready for the new field season. At age 25, Macomb was the leader ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Fighting City Hall Over Land
Once upon a time (1989 to be exact) in a place not so far away from where I live, a man (Francis Galdo) bought a home across the street from a vacant parcel owned by the City of Philadelphia. That parcel, along with others, had been acquired by condemnation back in 1974 subsequent to a 1956 ....
Read the Article
Patrick C. Garner, PS 
Book Review: Boundary Retracement: Processes and Procedures
When I was in my mid-twenties and learning the honorable profession of land surveying, I was lucky to be guided by a mentor who would grab a book off his office shelf and say, "Every surveyor should have a copy of this!" The first example he waved at me was Davis, Foote and Kelly's Surveying ....
Read the Article

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

Trimble Intros
TSC7 Controller

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
7820B Wormans Mill Road, #236
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax