For Immediate Release
November 15, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced efforts underway to assess and address the impacts of updated flood hazard maps for the City of Boston, expected to be released tomorrow by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is currently updating the flood hazard maps for coastal communities across the country and will release Suffolk County’s maps to the public for review here: http://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/. These maps will be for review only, and will not take effect until after an appeal and amendment period. The earliest the City of Boston expects to adopt a final flood hazard map is December 2014.
“As a city, we’re committed to accurately identifying the risks from coastal storm flooding and finding ways to support those home and business owners who will be impacted by the remapping of the flood zones,” Mayor Menino said. “In the coming months, we’ll identify the effects of these new maps on insurance premiums and will continue to work with our State and Federal partners on solutions to help Boston residents and business owners mitigate increases in their flood insurance costs.”
In conjunction with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the City is in the process of hiring a third-party consultant to review the proposed maps to ensure their accuracy and applicability.
The City will meet with FEMA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation in January and subsequently will schedule three public meetings to be led by FEMA. The City will also host several themed neighborhood meetings to help residents and business owners understand the new maps, and to help guide them to the appropriate resources.
The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) is currently working to expand its offerings to include “Meet the Insurance Broker” evenings, which would connect residents to reputable brokers of flood insurance. In addition, DND is working to expand some its loan programs for home repairs to include funding for upgrades that would mitigate the risks associated with flooding. The City’s Department of Environment and Energy Services will also explore becoming a Community Rating System community to be able to provide a city-wide premium discount.
Through its Flood Hazard Mapping Program, FEMA identifies flood hazards, assesses flood risks, and partners with States and communities to provide accurate flood hazard and risk data to guide mitigation actions. Flood Hazard Mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program, as it is the basis of the NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements.
Separate from the remapping, recent federal policy changes dictate the adoption of a risk-based premium structure for the National Flood Insurance Program. This policy is known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. It has major implications for both new and existing flood insurance policy holders.
For additional resources, please visit the City of Boston’s Flood Hazard website at http://www.cityofboston.gov/environment/Conservation/flood.asp. For questions regarding your property’s specific flood risk or insurance policy, please contact your insurance agent directly.