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NFIP Flooplain 101 Titlebar

Introduction

Aerial view of flood in Dover, OK, 1973

Chapter Index |  Chapter 1




Why We Need Floodplain Management

Flooding is a natural phenomenon. Periodically, rain and melting snow cause rivers to rise and streams and lakes to overflow their banks onto adjacent land areas. These areas, known as floodplains, have been carved out by floods for the specific purpose of carrying excess floodwaters. Since times of settlement, little regard has been given to the purpose and function of floodplains. Homes, businesses and even entire communities have been built in floodplain areas. The development of these floodplains has resulted in ongoing and often severe social and economic losses.


Traditionally, planning for flood control has focused on protecting existing development through structural approaches, such as dams, persions, or levees. Not only are these approaches expensive, but they also have not been effective in reducing flood damages. Despite considerable expenditure on flood control works, annual damages due to flooding continue to rise.


The root of the problem is the insistence on using and occupying flood hazard areas. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act (OFA) provide an alternative, non-structural approach (see Chapters 1 and 2 ). Rather than attempting to control the flow of water by moving or shifting flooding away from people, these laws recognize and encourage the need to control development in floodplains and focus on relocating people, not floodwaters. Their basic purpose is not to prohibit, but to guide development in floodplain areas in a manner consistent with both a community's land use needs and the need of nature to convey floodwaters.


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Purpose of this Textbook

Floodplain management is a complicated and a very technical profession. It would be impossible for a community official to administer and enforce a flood damage prevention ordinance effectively without any prior floodplain training. Chapters 1-5 of this textbook contain basic information primarily for local floodplain officials in communities that participate in the NFIP. It will help the floodplain administrator not only learn how to administer and enforce a flood ordinance, but also how to establish and manage an effective floodplain management program. To manage an effective program, the local official must be familiar with the NFIP regulations that are detailed in 44 CFR, specifically parts 59-78, and the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act.

Chapters 6-8 of this textbook cover topics beyond the basic NFIP requirements. The topics are meant to give the floodplain administrator a better understanding of some of the tools and mechanisms available for developing a more comprehensive, responsible floodplain management program in his community.

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Acronyms

A-Zone
SFHAs found on FBHMs and FIRMs (see below)
ASFPM
Association of State Floodplain Managers
BFE
The OFMA newsletter
BFE
Base Flood Elevation
BOCO
Building Officials Code of America
CAV
Community Assistance Visit
CC
Corporation Commission
CRS
Community Rating System
DOT
Department of Transportation
DRC
Disaster Resistance Community
DSR
Disaster Survey Report
EM
Emergency Manager
EMI
Emergency Management Institute
FBFM
Flood Boundary and Floodway Map
FEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FHA
Federal Highway Administration
FHBM
Flood Hazard Boundary Map
FIA
Federal Insurance Administration
FIRM
Flood Insurance Rate Map
FIS
Flood Insurance Study
FMA
Flood Mitigation Assistance
FPA
Floodplain Administrator
HMGP
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
IA
Inpidual Assistance
IBC
International Building Code
ICC
Increased Cost of Compliance
NEMA
National Emergency Managers Association
NETC
National Emergency Training Center (Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland)
NFIP
National Flood Insurance Program
OCC
Oklahoma Conservation Commission
ODCEM
Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management
ODEQ
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
ODOT
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
ODWC
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
OFA
Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act
OFMA
Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association
OWRB
Oklahoma Water Resources Board
PA
Public Assistance
PI
Project Impact
SFHA
Special Flood Hazard Areas

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Page last updated: February 05, 2008

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