Spring brings warmer weather and longer days, but it also brings a variety of weather conditions that can result in heavy rains and flooding. Lenders use the process of flood zone determination to evaluate the property and structures that secure mortgages. Properties in less risky areas are not required to carry federal flood insurance, though in moderate-risk areas flood insurance is still recommended. Federal banking regulations require certain flood zone properties to carry flood insurance as a condition of extending the loan. By the law, lenders had to require that buyers purchase this insurance on properties that fall within a Special Flood Hazard Area.
In this case, the broad definition of flood plain, also known as a flood zone, becomes more specific and detailed. It is also required that the client have a comprehensive Flood Emergency Response Plan that clearly outlines the designated reaction time and trigger point at which time the process will begin. Flood risk is a combination of the chance of a flood occurring and the consequences of the flood for people, property and infrastructure (Figure 12).
Flood risk management is a partnership between government and the community using a range of measures to reduce the risks to people, property and infrastructure. Preparing a floodplain management plan that outlines how flood risk to existing and future development can be managed for a particular location can inform these decisions. Local councils can use local planning instruments to influence the long-term development of an area in consideration of flooding, by restricting the location of development (zonings) and placing conditions (controls) on development. It is not possible to evacuate people to flood free areas and there is no practical alternative. Flooding can also have significant impacts on infrastructure, which needs to be considered when designing infrastructure. Flood modification measures aim to reduce flood levels, velocities or flows, or exclude floodwaters from areas under threat for events up to their designed capacity.
Flood mitigation dams can reduce downstream flood levels by temporarily storing and later releasing floodwaters.
Waterway or floodplain modifications such as widening, deepening, realigning or cleaning rivers and flowpaths can improve the transport of floodwaters downstream and reduce the likelihood of blockage, but can increase velocities and erosion and cause negative environmental impacts. Other structures such as roads, railways and embankments also have an impact on flood risk management because they can alter flood flows and behaviour. In addition to the zoning and development controls for new and re-developments mentioned above, modifications to existing property are also essential if the growth in future flood damage is to be contained. Land filling involves building up low-lying areas and can improve the flood immunity of structures constructed on that land, but can adversely affect flood behaviour elsewhere and therefore is generally limited to the fringes of the floodplain. House raising is widely used to reduce the frequency of inundation of habitable floors, thereby reducing flood damage.
Figure 14 Property modification measures to manage flood risk in new and existing development areas.
Measures to modify the response of the community to a flood are essential to deal with residual flood risk, because development controls and flood mitigation works generally cannot deal with all possible floods.
Implementing effective flood response within the community can reduce the danger and damage associated with floods. McLuckie, D, Kandasamy, J, Low, A & Avery, D 2010, 'Chapter 5 – Managing risk to existing development', in D McLuckie & J Kandasamy (eds), Floodplain Risk Management, University of Technology Sydney Course Notes, Sydney. McLuckie, D, Kandasamy, J, Low, A & Avery, D 2010, 'Chapter 10 – Managing risk to future development', in D McLuckie & J Kandasamy (eds), Floodplain Risk Management, University of Technology Sydney Course Notes, Sydney. National Flood Risk Advisory Group 2008, 'Flood risk management in Australia', Australian Journal of Emergency Management, vol.
NSW Government 2005, Floodplain Development Manual: the management of flood liable land, Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, NSW Government, Sydney. Perform continuous monitoring of the flood through various media outlets and weather tracking. A Special Flood Hazard Area, also known as the 100-year floodplain, is a zone that has a 1 percent chance each year of experiencing a greater than normal flood. Owners or buyers whose property falls within a Special Flood Hazard Area may contest this determination by applying for a Letter of Map Amendment, Letter of Map Revision or Letter of Determination Review.
Should a flood emergency arise, this Plan will dictate down to each detail, the exact steps to be taken for an effective mobilization of all of their resources and flood components to protect lives and property.The FERP gives the property manager detailed lists of tools, materials, instructions and specifies the order in which all tasks are to take place, ensuring a safe and effective flood defense program. Commercial flood insurance is limited to $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for the contents. An integrated approach to flood risk managementIntroductionFlood risk management is the process of assessing, organising and implementing actions to deal with flood risk.
Land use planning informed by floodplain management plans can reduce risk for new development areas.
The consequences of a flood depend upon how exposed the community is to flooding and how vulnerable its people, property and infrastructure are to the flood's impacts. Decisions on managing flood risk should be made in consultation with the community that may be impacted by floods. This process involves more than simply ensuring that building floors are above a particular flood level.

Preparing a floodplain management plan enables strategic decisions about where, what and how to develop the floodplain while reducing residual flood risk (i.e. Critical facilities, such as emergency hospitals, should ideally be located in areas where they will not flood and can operate during a flood event (see Figure 13). Homes and their contents are generally more vulnerable to flooding than industrial and commercial buildings and therefore should be located in less vulnerable areas.
Appropriate design standards for infrastructure exposed to flood risk can reduce its vulnerability to flooding. Flood risk to existing infrastructure is usually altered through improvements to protection as part of any upgrade.
The preferred option is often a combination of flood-, response- and property-modification measures to reduce risk to an acceptable level and to manage this residual risk appropriately. They are a common and proven means of reducing damage to existing properties under threat from flooding. Most dams are used to supply water to the community, but they can, when purpose built, also provide some flood mitigation for events up to their flood storage capacity.
In larger floods, levees can be overtopped with water flooding into and inundating areas protected in the smaller events.
This approach provides more flexibility in planning, funding and implementation than removal of development. There are instances where a large proportion of, or an entire town has been relocated due to flooding. Response modification measures can include: flood warnings, upgrading flood evacuation routes, flood evacuation planning, flood emergency response and flood education programs. Flood warning and evacuation plans can be very cost effective and may, in some cases, be the only economically justifiable risk management measures. If applicable, determine if flooding can expose or undermine pipelines as a result of erosion or scouring. The National Flood Insurance Program was established in 1968 to reduce the costs of emergency assistance in flooded areas. Monitoring water levels allows companies to determine the likelihood of flooding resulting from local conditions, and enables prompt and accurate response decisions. They can develop slowly over a few hours or days, leaving ample time to prepare and implement established flood procedures. Having the designation removed allows the buyer to purchase the property without the legal requirement of federal flood insurance, though a lender may still require the insurance by its own guidelines.
The main outcome of the flood risk management planning process should be a set of sustainable actions being taken to reduce overall flood risk across Scotland.Multiple organisations are involved in managing flood risk.
Flood risk is harder to manage in existing developed areas; however modification measures such as dams or levees can change the behaviour of floodwaters. It also considers how flood behaviour and hazard may vary in different parts of the floodplain and how different sized flood events might have an impact on people, property and infrastructure.
However, for people and property there are basically three ways of managing flood risk to reduce the consequences of flooding: by modifying flood behaviour, property, or community response.
In larger floods, this mitigation capacity can be exceeded and floods pass through with little, if any, reduction.
Levees can trap local stormwater, causing damage unless flood gates and pumps are provided. Generally it is only suitable for brick commercial buildings with concrete floors and it can prevent ingress for outside water depths up to approximately one metre.
Conduct a post-incident review and identify mitigation opportunities to prevent future flooding impacts. In the real estate market, a home in a legally defined flood plain is eligible for purchase of federal flood insurance.
In addition, FloodSmart.gov offers a variety of assessment tools, including a free hypothetical flood risk scenarios guide that can assist companies to better protect against financial losses due to flooding. Property owners and management staff benefit greatly by knowing ahead-of-time all the costs, resources and time required to defend their property from a flood event.
Similarly, property modification measures can protect against harm caused by floods to individual buildings, and response modification measures help communities deal with floods. However, levees, whether temporary or permanent, can increase flood levels in areas not protected by the levee (as noted in Question 2). Ideally, new developments would use flood resilient designs and materials, as addressed in Question 8. It also does not remove the risk to people who occupy the house, particularly in larger flood events. This approach generally involves voluntary purchase and demolition of the residence to remove it from the floodplain. However, flash floods can develop within minutes from intense rainfall, tropical storms and their remnants, or dam failures several miles upstream from a facility. The Act sets out a flood risk management planning process that will ensure that long-term and nationally-focused objectives are balanced with local knowledge and priorities. Developing a flood emergency plan can prepare employees and facilities before, during, and after a flood to minimize health and safety impacts.

Table 4 summarises the key steps in preparing these plans, and Annex 1 provides further information on key milestones. They can therefore take all necessary steps ahead of time to ensure that deployment occurs as planned.As required by FEMA, a Flood Emergency Response Plan (FERP) is an integral part of the flood proofing process. Once in place, the plans will be reviewed and updated every six years.Table 4 Key steps in preparing flood risk management plans(National) Flood risk assessment - by 22 nd December 2011The national flood risk assessment will create a broad-scale picture of the causes and impacts of flooding across Scotland. Facilities must have an established and exercised flood emergency response plan in order to minimize the potential impact on life, the environment, and business operations.
The assessment will lead to the identification of Potentially Vulnerable Areas that will be used to help target studies, actions and investment to reduce flood risk.Flood hazard and flood risk strategies - by 22 nd December 2015Building on flood risk assessment and mapping exercises, plans will be prepared to coordinate measures across catchments.
This Plan outlines the procedures your business needs to follow in order to ensure preparedness during a flood emergency and during the times in-between.
Flood risk management strategies will allow for targeted investments and better decisions to be made about measures to reduce flood risk.Local Flood Risk Management Plans - by June 2016Local plans will supplement the strategic objectives and measures identified by SEPA. These plans are site specific to the conditions, the structure, the type of flooding expected and life safety issues. The will translate the strategies into coordinated actions to reduce the impacts of flooding.The principal output of the planning process should be a set of sustainable actions to manage flood risk across Scotland.
The flood risk management strategies, and the measures which follow, will drive national investment decisions in each 6 year cycle. These plans will be subject to approval by the Scottish Ministers.Flood risk management actionsOnce a lead local authority has been agreed, the lead local authority for each local plan will lead on agreeing the funding routes and timetables by which actions will be taken forward locally. These strategic plans will set the overall direction of flood risk management across Scotland. They will also fulfil the reporting requirements of the EC Floods Directive.To promote stakeholder engagement and coordination with local plans, it is expected that SEPA will prepare a flood risk management strategy for each local plan district. This will be done working closely with the lead local authority and other responsible authorities relevant for that district.The second set of plans, known as local flood risk management plans, will be published by lead local authorities. In addition to providing a local expression of the strategic plans prepared by SEPA, these 'tactical' plans will include a summary of how actions will be implemented in each local plan district. Local authorities will be expected to lead on the coordination of actions to deal with surface water flooding.
Surface water management and drainage are examined further in Section 4.Delivering integrated FRM planningMultiple organisations are involved in managing flood risk. A top down approach that disengages local authorities and local communities from decision making must be avoided.National consistencyAdoption of consistent principles, approaches and methods at each step in the process of managing flood risk will ensure a nationally comparable risk-based approach informs management and investment decisions. Areas where consistency will be particularly important include methods adopted to assess flood risk, approaches to considering climate change, and techniques adopted to appraise management options (Table 5). This will require close collaboration and a structured planning process that creates the space and time needed to consider any competing needs and reach informed decisions.The strategies set out in Flood risk management plans should establish the overall approach, for instance identify the need for particular combinations of measures or management response.
Where these measures, for instance a flood protection scheme require significant public expenditure, more detailed design and appraisal work will be required to ensure that the best option and design is selected and tailored to suit local needs.Joint ownership of plans and actionsThe identification and undertaking of sustainable flood management actions will require close collaboration between SEPA, local authorities, Scottish Water, and other stakeholders. Ultimately, there must be joint ownership of the plans and the actions set out therein.Wherever necessary, SEPA should ensure that decisions on setting objectives and identifying measures are taken jointly with the responsible authorities, as well as with others who could contribute to delivering actions and could be affected by decisions.
Where agreements on objectives and measures cannot be reached, SEPA will have to set out any difficulties in reaching agreement in their report to the Scottish Ministers, who can then approve the plan, or require SEPA to undergo further consultation before it is approved.The same principles apply to local authorities when developing the implementation plans.
Where agreements can not be reached on how actions will be implemented, the Scottish Ministers will determine the content of the implementation plans.Creating efficiencies in the development of flood protection schemes and measuresThe promotion of joint working and sharing of skills and expertise will be challenging but should lead to efficiencies of time and resources between SEPA and the responsible authorities. Importantly, the process of preparing flood risk management plans should speed-up the process of taking forward and implementing a flood protection scheme or other measures. This concept is set out in Scottish Planning Policy, which states that development which would have a significant probability of being affected by flooding or would increase the probability of flooding elsewhere should not be permitted. Close ties between Scottish emergency planning, the Scottish Flood Forum and flood risk management planning will need to be established so as to coordinate actions to reduce flood risk with existing work to manage the effects of flooding, including where restoration and repair of homes and properties is being undertaken once the flood waters have receded.Integrated land and water managementAs far as is practicable, an integrated approach to land and water management should be pursued.
When developing flood risk management plans, early links must be made with other relevant aspects of water and land management. In turn the findings from flood risk management plans should influence other planning initiatives in an interactive and iterative cycle. The FRM Act requires consistency and coordination between River Basin Planning and flood risk management.
Areas of particular importance to flood risk management include the construction and operation of reservoirs, CAR licensing of flood protection schemes, land drainage and the maintenance of watercourses and flood defences.BOX 1 Ecosystem servicesOur natural environment contains natural capital that underpins our economic activity, our well being and the earth's life support systems. Ultimately, SEPA and the responsible authorities should be accountable for the decisions they take.Opportunities for stakeholder participation should be incorporated at all stage of flood risk management, from the preparation of flood risk management plans through to schemes and projects.
The groups, which must include representation from a wide range of interests, will provide an important forum for discussing flood management and engaging with the stakeholder community.

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