According to FEMA, the number of repetitive flood losses are increasing throughout the country and putting a stress on the National Flood Insurance Program. To address this problem, the Nebraska Silver Jackets Team asked that the USACE assist in reviewing each of the repetitive loss structures in the state and provide a Repetitive Loss Area Analyses so that the statewide hazard mitigation plan can be updated and improved.
Specifically, there are 363 properties in the State of Nebraska that are classified as repetitive loss structures as per the National Flood Insurance Program criteria. These properties are in some of the highest flood risks areas and are ideal targets for nonstructural flood risk mitigation projects. The most up-to-date version of a database containing information on these properties was reviewed and updated by the USACE using a combination of Google Earth, County Assessor resources, and physical field audits. Entries were reviewed via desk audit, and a geospatial point file was created to update the verified locations of each entry.
The results of the updated inventory will be incorporated into the state hazard mitigation plan during the next update cycle and will provide more specifics for developing nonstructural flood reduction options and costs to find a solution to a shared problem of being locked into a cycle of damage and repair and then damage again.
The data was made available to the impacted communities, which will lay the building blocks for potential flood risk reduction measures. As an outcome, this project provided economic justification and support data for property owners to pursue mitigation funds through such sources as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program or the National Flood Insurance Program. Further outreach by the communities or state will enable owners of repetitive loss properties to make more informed decisions about flood preparedness and mitigation actions. Also the impacted communities if they participate in the Community Rating System will now have the necessary information to pursue significant credit points (max 140) by developing a robust local mitigation plan that includes a local Repetitive Loss Area Analysis strategy.