RD514 - Recommendations Regarding Floodproofing - December 2015

Executive Summary:
FEMA defines floodproofing as “any combination of structural and non-structural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures, which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.”(*1)

By minimizing flood danger, insurance claims may be reduced, as well as direct costs to the Commonwealth that result from emergency response and displacement, and indirect costs like losses to Virginia’s economy, disruption of communities, and the cost of premiums paid by Virginia residents.

There are currently no programs to fund private sector flood risk reduction on an annualized basis, but there are several grant programs that may be leveraged to reduce risk. These include: FEMA grants, Small Business Association loans, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and the Dam Safety, Flood Protection and Assistance Fund.

Virginia property owners may be significantly under-insured due to failure to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) but exact data was not readily available to the working group.

Based on the current situation in Virginia, the following recommendations are made for the consideration of the Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding:

1. Better identify properties with a high flood risk exposure and prioritize eligible project activities based on available funds.

2. Establish a revolving loan fund through the Virginia Resource Authority (VRA) to be made available to local governments.

3. Identify funding sources to establish a Recurrent Flood Risk Reduction Program.
(*1) 44 C.F.R. § 59.1 (2010).