PHILADELPHIA – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III, in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will host a day-long roundtable event: “Living with Water: the Future of Flood Insurance” on August 27, 2018 in Williamsport, PA. The roundtable will bring together key stakeholders from all levels of government and the public and private sectors, including floodplain managers, realtors, insurance agents, lenders, and emergency managers, for a critical discussion on increasing flood insurance coverage and reducing flood risk in Pennsylvania.
The event, co-organized by FEMA, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Lycoming County, will provide an in-depth look on how flooding and insurance can impact communities.
“Flooding is the most common and costly hazard in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” stated Rick Flinn, Director of PEMA. “Insurance provides critical protection for property owners during a flood. This workshop is a unique opportunity to bring together key players for an open dialogue about past flooding events, the risks of future flooding, and the importance of insurance.”
Roundtable activities will kick-off in the morning with presentations on flood risk and insurance from federal, state and local partners, and will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with the following public and private sector experts:
- Kelda Weber, Vice-President, AMIG-Cincinnati
- Carolyn Kousky, Directory of Policy Research and Engagement, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
- Marita Kelley, Deputy Director / PA State National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
- Jessica Altman, PA Insurance Commissioner
- Marcella Soverns, Senior Vice President, Muncy Bank & Trust
- Jeff Thomas, Executive Deputy Director, PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
- Melanie J. McLane, Realtor, Broker of Record, Jackson Real Estate
“This roundtable event will allow professionals from across several industries – public sector, private insurance, lenders, educators, and emergency managers – to talk about insurance, risk, and what can be done to protect our communities,” said PA Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “Our goal with this workshop, and our efforts before and after it, is to advocate for consumer protection by increasing flood insurance options for consumers. We want consumers to know information on both NFIP and private coverage is available at our one-stop flood insurance webpage at www.insurance.pa.gov, and to encourage producers and insurers selling private coverage in Pennsylvania to contact us to be listed on this page.”
Following the moderated panel, the workshop will feature breakout sessions on insurance affordability, communication challenges, perceptions of risk, and successful local-level floodplain management. The workshop will conclude with an open house so that all participants have an opportunity to gather information, ask questions, network, and follow up on topics of interest to their stakeholders.
“Flood insurance provides the greatest possible protection against the risk of flooding,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “Recent flooding across the Commonwealth has demonstrated how damaging and disruptive flooding can be to businesses, families, and communities. This roundtable event highlights the need for insurance and the importance of working with our state, local, federal, and private sector partners to reduce flood risk across Pennsylvania.”
The roundtable participants and event organizers hope to broaden the conversation on reducing the risk of future flooding, increasing the number of residents covered by flood insurance, and establishing productive partnerships with all insurance stakeholders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The NFIP specifically aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing affordable insurance to property owners, renters and businesses while encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations. These efforts help mitigate the effects of flooding on new and improved structures.
The 2018 Flood Insurance Roundtables represent FEMA Region III’s close partnerships with all of our states to reduce flood risk and ensure property owners and communities are more resilient to future flooding.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.
To learn more about the PA Insurance Department, please visit www.Insurance.PA.gov. To learn more about PEMA, please visit www.PEMA.PA.gov/. To learn more about DCED, please visit www.DCED.PA.gov/. To learn more about the NFIP, to understand your potential flood risk, and how to purchase flood insurance, please visit www.FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program and www.Floodsmart.gov. To learn more about FEMA Region III, please visit www.FEMA.gov and www.FEMA.gov/region-iii.