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In the aftermath of hurricane and flooding damage from storms, opportunities exist for surveyors to be part of the planning, mapping, recovery, and construction. Locations are everywhere the water touched, and even higher in the watershed, as cumulative effects of non-disaster-related development sends runoff rushing downhill to the floodplains.
One of our most important jobs is to guide and inform our clients. This does not mean that surveyors must be intimately familiar with every single nook and cranny of floodplain regulation and management. Instead, having a good general understanding of how the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) functions and the reasons behind why it functions as it does helps us to better serve our clients. Finding a specialty somewhere within the broad realm of floodplain management adds to the value of what we can offer, creating demand for our services while improving our ledgers. Remember that knowing where information can be found even if we don’t have it ourselves has much value.
Every job we do in relation to floodplains amounts to consulting. Clients expect us to sort out what it is that they mean to ask us for (but don’t) from their often less than clear descriptions of needs and ideas and designs. This requires a thorough understanding of minimum land use regulations according to 44 CFR 60.3. This essential set of rules is the basis for all local floodplain regulation, being the minimum for participation in the NFIP and the benefits associated with that participation (technical assistance, disaster and mitigation assistance, reduced insurance rates in Community Rating System member communities).
How does knowing these rules increase our value to clients? A few examples:
A 1.630Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE