In advance of Marco and Laura, NFIP Resources have been added to our website. 

Included are websites, fact sheets, videos, social media assets, infographics and other materials for you.

Please feel free to share widely with other partners in insurance, safety, emergency management and elsewhere.

 Marco & Laura: Flood Loss Avoidance

 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent this bulletin at 08/25/2020 07:15 AM EDT

With tropical storms threatening the Gulf Coast, and severe weather that can happen across the state...did you know? The NFIP offers flood loss avoidance as a protective action policyholders can take to minimize flood damage and losses before a flood occurs. Spread the word in your community. 

Flood Loss Avoidance Infographic

For more information, view the fact sheet Understanding Flood Loss Avoidance or reference the NFIP Claims Manual (pages 47-48, 65, 111-112, 171-172).  

Flood Loss Avoidance Videos

Click here to view the flood loss avoidance video in Spanish.



June 2020 Floodwatch Newsletter Now Available!

Click here to read the latest issue.


2021 ASFPM National Conference

Raleigh, North Carolina

May 9 - 13, 2021

Raleigh Convention Center

For more information visit the ASFPM conference website

 Benefits of Freeboard

Benefits and Costs of Freeboard Flyer

One way flood risk is communicated is through maps that show base flood elevations (BFEs), or the height floodwaters would reach during a 1-percent-annual-chance flood in any given year.

Freeboard is a term used by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to describe a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above the 1-percent-annual-chance flood level. The NFIP requires the lowest floor of structures built in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to be at or above the BFE, so a structure built with freeboard would have its lowest floor 1 foot or more above the BFE. Adding freeboard will reduce NFIP insurance premiums.

National Flood Insurance

Provided is a copy of the recent NFIP Premium Comparison Chart.  This chart comes in handy when dealing with homeowners or local officials. It helps explain the benefits of flood insurance, elevating and freeboard as it relates to monetary savings.  The NFIP Call Center Brochure is for anyone needing assistance from the NFIP Support Center.

Courtesy of: Mark Lujan (FEMA Region VI – Sr. Region Insurance Specialist) & and John Miles (FEMA Region VI)


Meteorology Terminology

What’s the Difference Between a Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm and Hurricane?

Meteorologists use special terminology based on various classifications for developing tropical activity.

You’ve heard meteorologists describe these weather formations as tropical systems, tropical disturbances, tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. What does all of this terminology really mean?

Stages of Tropical Formation:

The first official stage of a tropical classification is a tropical depression, but before this happens meteorologists refer to this potential activity using many different terms, all which mean about the same thing.

You’ll hear them throw out some of these terms: tropical system, tropical feature, tropical activity, tropical disturbance, tropical wave. These descriptions all refer to a weather formation that has potential to strengthen and organize into a substantial tropical storm, or even a hurricane.

When these descriptors are used, the storm at its current state doesn’t have strong enough sustained and organized winds or the pressure necessary to be classified as a tropical depression.

Tropical Depression

A tropical depression forms when a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms that produce a circular wind flow with maximum sustained winds below 39 mph. Most tropical depressions have maximum sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph.

In the U.S., the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is responsible for issuing advisories upgrading or downgrading tropical activity.

Reconnoissance aircraft missions are sent by the NHC flying into tropical storms to gather data, like wind speeds, to aid in making these classification changes. Surface data from islands, buoys and vessels can also be used to make changes.

Tropical Storm

An upgrade into a tropical storm occurs when cyclonic circulation becomes more organized and maximum sustained winds gust consistently at or above 39 mph, and no higher than 73 mph. Tropical storm status is when the naming of the storm takes place.

Hurricane Classification

A tropical storm is then upgraded into Category 1 hurricane status as maximum sustained winds increase to between 74 mph and 95 mph.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to rate hurricane intensity in the Atlantic Basin. A 1-5 rating system is used, with Category 1 being a less intense storm and Category 5 very intense.

Story by Carly Porter, Staff Writer