Is your levee at risk? 3 ways to keep your community safe
June 19, 2016
June 19, 2016
FEMA may come knocking under levee regulations asking for your certification. We’ve got some tips to help you prepare.
The nation’s estimated 30,000 miles of levees can be found in all 50 states and the District of Columbia1. Many of these levees were originally used to protect farmland, but now are increasingly used to protect developed communities. In today’s world, we’re all about promoting the resiliency of our infrastructure. We want to make sure our infrastructure is not only protecting our communities, but it is doing so safely. The reliability of these levees is unknown in many cases. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Army Corp of Engineers are working towards establishing the Levee Safety Initiative ensuring that flood risk associated with levees are well known to those citizens living behind them.
We’ve been working with FEMA on their Risk MAP program, which brings forward risk awareness surrounding levees, and allows us to engage communities in preparing for and mitigating the risks associated with them. If your city has a levee, chances are FEMA will, eventually, ask you for certification verifying the levee meets federal regulations. What is this, you ask? Well, the certification is of levee-related data that complies with the structural requirements described in the code of federal regulations 44CFR part 65.10. This certification of data is by a registered professional engineer. To be clear, the certification does not constitute a warranty or guarantee of performance the levee will hold. Rather it is a statement the data is accurate to the best of the certifier’s knowledge. Once certification is received, then FEMA can accredit the levee on the flood insurance rate maps.
But, how can you prepare now for when FEMA comes knocking? Easy. I’ve got a few suggestions that you can do now that will put you in a great position to achieve accreditation and help ensure your levee is protecting citizens.
Our team is working to help clients know their own risk and assess the true hazards and how they could impact the surrounding community. It’s imperative that you get an assessment of your risk mitigation now, so you can analyze what items you have, and how they comply with federal regulations. Don’t forget, your levee system is a piece of your community’s infrastructure, and that infrastructure matters!