The most common disaster in Region III is flooding. From the earliest times, people settled along waterways. They provide life-giving water, food, energy, and transportation. Today, modern comforts mean that most people do not need to live close to the water, but many still enjoy it. Unfortunately, waterways bring the danger of floods from storms, hurricanes, and snowmelt or runoff. States such as West Virginia may be in danger not just of water rising, but also of water flash-flooding down mountains through washes and hollows. It is the goal of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to protect life and property from this danger. Following a disaster, we strive to not only rebuild, but to improve and relocate when necessary.
Any new Federally funded construction in a floodplain must comply with Executive Order (EO) 11988 and must follow a special eight-step process, including public notification. (Actions exempt from this EO are debris removal and repairs or replacements under Sec. 406, Stafford Act, which are under $5,000.) If your town is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, there should already be preventative measures in place as well as rules regarding repair and new construction. Failure to follow specific guidelines may result in loss of federal funding. For specific information, before beginning any work on a floodplain, contact your local or city floodplain administrator, your state Water Resources Board, your state National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator, or your state Department of Environmental Protection. You can also call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-CALL FLOOD.