VFMA had the following press release published across the Commonwealth to show our support for Governor Northam’s Executive Order 24. To view Executive Order 24, click here.
VIRGINIA FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION VOICES SUPPORT FOR EXECUTIVE ORDER 24
The Virginia Floodplain Management Association’s (VFMA) Board of Directors announces our support for Governor Northam’s recent signing of Executive Order 24. VFMA President, Kevin Utt, stated, “VFMA supports efforts to improve resiliency to natural disasters, such as flooding and sea level rise in the Commonwealth.” The executive order promotes nature-based infrastructure, supports making state facilities more resilient, increases coordination between state and federal agencies, and encourages flood insurance and mitigation.
Executive Order 24 requires state agencies to take action to understand and plan for flooding and sea level rise. This includes inventorying flood prone state-owned properties, agreeing to a unified sea level rise projection, adopting a freeboard standard for new and substantially improved state-owned properties, and increasing interagency coordination on pre-mitigation programs and floodplain requirements.
In Virginia, communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program are required to adopt and enforce regulations to manage development in flood prone areas. Executive Order 24 encourages state government to provide additional guidance and support to communities, to assist them in addressing recurrent flooding and sea level rise.
The executive order strives to empower property owners to mitigate their flood risk and insure against damages. Flood insurance is not included in most homeowners insurance, but is critical in providing the resources needed to rebuild after a flood event. Even during a declared disaster, property owners without flood insurance will have significantly less funding available. Raising awareness of flood insurance, as Executive Order 24 directs, will help property owners to better protect their investments.
Flooding is the most common and costly disaster in Virginia. From 1996 to 2016, flood insurance claims in the Commonwealth totaled more than $515 million. Increasing resiliency lessens these costs and keeps Virginians safer.
The goals of Executive Order 24 align closely with the VFMA’s mission to promote proactive floodplain management in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VFMA is comprised of professionals representing state and federal agencies, local governments, and private firms, with a role in addressing flooding. The organization provides assistance, education, and outreach about floodplain management in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information about VFMA, visit http://www.vaflood.org.