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FEMA Publications and Recommended Training for Coastal Communities
Lisa Messano, CCAMP Outreach Coordinator
FEMA’s coastal studies in Region IX will revise and update the flood and wave data used to identify the coastal Special Flood Hazard Areas, which are the areas associated with a flood event having a 1-percent annual exceedance probability.  Community officials will benefit by gaining a better understanding of the steps they can take to implement community-based actions and advance mitigation measures that reduce the coastal flood risk in their community prior to the release of updated Flood Insurance Rate Map panels and Flood Insurance Study reports for California coastal communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and along the entire Pacific coast.  The resources listed below offer opportunities to increase your knowledge, step-up planning efforts, and actively manage flood risk.
The FEMA Library is a searchable web-based collection of all publicly accessible FEMA information resources.  Users can locate, download, save, or print library items from the web. You can also order hardcopies of some of the resources by clicking on “Add to My Bookshelf.” Within the FEMA Library, you will find the following publications:
Coastal Construction Manual: Principles and Practices of Planning, Siting, Designing, Constructing, and Maintaining Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas (FEMA 55) - This updated manual is intended to help home designers and contractors identify and evaluate practices that will improve the quality of construction in coastal areas and reduce the economic losses associated with coastal disasters.
Local Officials Guide for Coastal Construction (P-762) - This document was developed to assist building officials in understanding the connection between National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) guidelines, the International Building Code, and the International Residential Code. Additionally, flood and wind provisions of both ASCE 7-05 and ASCE 24-05 are presented and discussed. The guide also explores building performance and real-life success and failures following recent storm events and recommends design and construction “best practices” where appropriate.
Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series (FEMA P-499) – These 37 fact sheets provide technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction of coastal residential buildings.
Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements – This 20 page technical bulletin provides guidance on the National Flood Insurance Program regulations concerning the required use of flood-damage resistant construction materials for building components located below the Base Flood Elevation in Special Flood Hazard Areas (both A and V zones).  
Mitigation of Flood and Erosion Damage to Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas (FEMA 257) - This publication documents the broad range of non-structural mitigation activities undertaken nationwide in communities exposed to coastal flooding and erosion.
Mitigation Ideas: A Resource for Reducing Risk to Natural Hazards - This document is a resource for communities to identify and evaluate a range of potential mitigation actions for reducing risk to natural hazards and disasters, including storm surge, sea level rise and tsunami hazards.   
FEMA also offers resident, non-resident, and independent study courses through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The course catalog, enrollment periods, application timelines, procedures, and forms are available here. The following course is of special note for coastal communities: Residential Coastal Construction (E386) – offered during the second semester at EMI’s Emmitsburg, MD campus, August 5 – 8, 2013. This four-day course is designed to train students on the updated fourth edition of FEMA’s Coastal Construction Manual (FEMA 55).
FEMA Coastal Website – this recently debuted website offers 20 pages of resources targeted at various audiences and geographic regions and includes a link to the coastal outreach page for Region IX coastal studies.  
Non-FEMA Recommended Resources
California's Flood Future: Recommendations for Managing the State's Flood Risk report, developed in partnership between the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is a comprehensive look at flooding throughout the State and makes recommendations for future actions to reduce flood risk. California’s Flood Future was developed as a companion plan to the California Water Plan Update 2013 under the Statewide Flood Management Planning Program.
An extensive list of additional coastal resources, including a sea level rise viewer, coastal snapshots, and a roadmap for adapting to coastal flood risk is available on NOAA’s Coastal Services Center interactive website.
The StormSmart Coasts website hosts resources for coastal decision makers in nine states. While the site currently has an East Coast focus, the information on what to do before, during, and after a storm offers communities universally applicable information. The storms that threaten the East Coast include hurricanes and Nor’easters, instead of the West Coast’s El Niño winter storms and “King Tides.” However, the fundamental preparations necessary to protect your family and your property from natural hazards, as addressed in the recently developed Delaware Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards, apply to any coastal community.

 Coastal Beat Story Archive

collapse Year : 2012 ‎(7)
<a href=''>Risk Map Local</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Leverages LiDAR</a>
<a href=''>FEMA’s CCAMP Studies and Our Coast, Our Future</a>
<a href=''>Region IX to Conduct First Flood Risk Review Meeting for CCAMP</a>
collapse Year : 2013 ‎(19)
<a href=''>FEMA Partners with Oceanweather and Scripps Institution of Oceanography to Bring Modeling Expertise to CCAMP OPC Study</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Region IX Holds Meetings for the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project / Open Pacific Coast Study</a>
<a href=''>Primary Frontal Dune Coastal High Hazard Area Mapping Requirements</a>
<a href=''>FEMA Holds South Bay Workshop to Kick-off Detailed Analysis in the South Bay Counties</a>
<a href=''>Translating Coastal Flood Hazard Modeling Results into Floodplain Mapping</a>
<a href=''>Terrain Modeling in FEMA’s California Coastal Flood Studies</a>
<a href=''>Join FEMA’s Community Rating System Program Using California’s Statewide Floodplain Management Activities</a>
<a href=''>Coastal Flood Processes Along the California Coast</a>
<a href=''>FEMA’s Annual Risk Awareness Survey: Findings from Previous Surveys and the Focus for the 2013 Survey</a>
collapse Year : 2014 ‎(9)
<a href=''>E386 Residential Coastal Construction</a>
<a href=''>Engaging Stakeholders to Help Communicate Impacts of BW-12</a>
<a href=''></a>
<a href=''>California Coastal Storm History Part Two – Ventura County</a>
<a href=''>Redelineation: What does it mean for me?</a>
collapse Year : 2015 ‎(2)
<a href=''>FEMA increases community access to draft floodplain mapping data </a>
collapse Year : 2016 ‎(6)
<a href=''></a>
1 - 40Next

 Other Stories

expand Arizona
Educating Maricopa County on the Power of Water,
Discovery Process, Thursday, February 23, 2012
expand California
Discovery Process, Thursday, March 1, 2012
NFIP Substantial Improvement and Substantial Damage Course, Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Santa Barbara County and Incorporated Areas Countywide Flood Insurance Rate Map,
Join FEMA’s Community Rating System Program Using California’s Statewide Floodplain Management Activities,
expand Coastal Studies
Discovery Process, Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Betty the Prepared Dog, Saturday, April 28, 2012
expand Hawaii
Tsunami: Learning from Experience in Hawaii,
Public Outreach Meeting for FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, Wednesday, August 8, 2012
expand Nevada
Clark County Flood Facts,
expand Region Wide
Be Prepared for a Flooding Event in your Community Today!,
Watershed University , Friday, June 1, 2012
Know Your Line: Be Flood Aware, Thursday, May 2, 2013
1 - 30 Next
  • The Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) Report: SOMAs Deciphered

    Many community officials and floodplain managers are called upon to review a Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) report, but how familiar are you with this document, and the process of developing it? Did you know that the ability to revise or amend effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels is always available? Revisions and amendments to flood hazard information may be accomplished through FEMA’s Letter of Map Change (LOMC) process, without having to re-publish the FIRM. When a Flood Insurance Study (FIS) update or restudy requires a revised FIRM panel to be re-published, the existing LOMCs that applied to the old effective FIRM panels are superseded by the newly effective FIRM panels, and LOMCs that have remained valid are revalidated. As part of a map revision, FEMA publishes a Preliminary and Final SOMA report. The SOMA records a complete list of all previously issued LOMCs, and their valid or superseded status, for each community affected by revised FIRM panels. The SOMA assists community officials in maintaining the most up-to-date information on their community’s FIRMs. (Read more…)

  • Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Insurance Studies: From Preliminary to Effective

    ​FEMA flood hazard maps inform communities about the local flood risk. Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as FEMA regulatory products provide the basis for regulating development and determining flood insurance requirements under the NFIP regulations. FEMA maintains and updates regulatory flood hazard data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports.

    Following the data acquisition and data development phases of the flood insurance study process, FEMA distributes one set of the preliminary FIRM panels, the preliminary FIS Report, and the preliminary Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) to community CEOs. FEMA also posts PDF versions of the preliminary FIRM panels and FIS Report, as well as the DFIRM database containing the GIS shapefiles, to the Map Service Center (MSC), where they are available for public download. (The preliminary FIRM panels and the preliminary DFIRM database are archived on the MSC when the panels, FIS report, and database become effective.) The steps that follow, referred to as the post-preliminary process, include the public comment and appeal period, community and public meetings, the Letter of Final Determination, and community adoption/compliance requirements. 
    From July 2015 through November 2015, FEMA distributed preliminary data to ten coastal counties as part of the Open Pacific Coast Study and three counties as part of the San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study. For more information about what goes into a flood map, go to this infographic on FEMA’s website. (Read more…)

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