FEMA's Region III Mitigation Division strives to create safer communities by reducing the risks to loss of life and property. Mitigation programs enable individuals to recover more quickly from floods and other disasters and lessen the financial impact of disasters on the nation.
The following branches fall under the Mitigation Division:
Risk Analysis Branch
Risk analysis promotes disaster resilience by enabling individuals and communities to recover more rapidly from floods and other disasters through effective risk analysis of natural hazards through flood mapping and hazard mitigation planning. To view flood maps and related products, please visit the Map Service Center. For specific information on FEMA Region III's RiskMAP efforts, please visit www.FEMA.gov/risk-map-region-iii.
Hazard Mitigation Assistance Branch
Risk reduction creates safer communities by proactively reducing risk and enhancing the capability of states and local communities to reduce their risk from natural hazards. FEMA has authority for three Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs with statutory and regulatory authorities, program requirements and triggers for funding. The programs are the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM), and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA). They all share a common goal-to assist state and local communities in their efforts to reduce the loss of life and property from future natural hazard events.
Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch
The Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch administers the floodplain management and insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These programs focus on state and local building codes and zoning regulations to assure that new development and substantial improvements located in a floodplain are constructed to prevent or minimize future flood damage. Under the insurance part of the program, this office provides oversight of flood insurance training programs and outreach efforts for insurance agents, lenders and property owners throughout the region.
For more information, please visit FEMA.gov/region-iii-floodplain-management.
Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Program (EHP)
The Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) program integrates the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources into FEMA's mission, programs and activities. It ensures that FEMA's activities including facility management, Public and Individual Assistance programs, and all Hazard Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness grants comply with federal environmental and historic preservation laws and executive orders. EHP also provides environmental and historic preservation technical assistance to FEMA staff, local, state and federal partners.
FEMA Region III Statement on NFIP Compliance within Londonderry Township, PA
Protecting people and property is Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) mission. Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), FEMA works with local communities to minimize the potential damages and dangers caused by flooding. This is done by providing hazard and risk information to communities, encouraging the utilization of appropriate construction practices in high risk areas, and providing flood insurance coverage to home and business owners.
Community participation in the NFIP is based upon a voluntary agreement between the local government and the Federal government. In return for community implementation of minimum floodplain management standards which reduce the chances of future flood damages, Federally-backed flood insurance is made available in the community.
Londonderry Township, as a participating community in the NFIP, has agreed to adopt and enforce an ordinance requiring structures to be built in compliance with Pennsylvania’s Floodplain Management Act and the minimum requirements for participation in the NFIP. It is the role of the Township, which has local land-use authority, to adopt and enforce their floodplain ordinance regulations. Currently, 79 Londonderry residents have flood insurance through the NFIP, directly benefiting from the Township’s participation.
The National Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, prohibits the FEMA from making flood insurance available in communities that are not enforcing the minimum NFIP floodplain management criteria. Communities that fail to adopt and enforce minimum floodplain management standards may face sanctions, such as probation and suspension. If the community is suspended, no new or renewed flood insurance will be available to structures located in the Londonderry Township. Additionally, certain types of Federal disaster assistance would not be available for the repair or reconstruction of insurable buildings in mapped flood hazard areas.
Bayshore and Shelly Islands are located in Londonderry Township and situated in the floodway, making them vulnerable to the fastest moving, deepest flood waters. The structures on these islands were originally leased for a term that was neither intended to be a full year’s lease nor a permanent lease. Many of the lessees constructed permanent structures without permits or complying with the local floodplain development regulations that would have ensured that these permanent structures were built appropriately given the locations known flood risk. The end result is the current existence of vulnerable homes in a high flood hazard area.
A March 8, 2012 Community Assistance Visit (CAV) in Londonderry Township identified numerous violations that the Township is required to take corrective actions to resolve. The Township must take enforcement actions, as outlined in their floodplain ordinance, in order to maintain their good standing in the NFIP.
To date, Londonderry Township and Cube Hydro, the current land owner, have a signed compliance agreement that addresses the violations identified in the CAV and a plan to bring the properties into compliance with the Township’s floodplain ordinance. FEMA has no role or authority to negotiate, enforce, or carry out this compliance agreement. However, FEMA has reviewed the agreement and supports its’ implementation as a corrective action to address the identified violations.
“We understand that these properties have been in some families for generations, and are of great value to the residents of the islands.” Nicole Lick FEMA Region III Floodplain Management & Insurance Branch Chief said, “Our focus and concern is on protecting lives and preventing harm from coming to any of the families.”
FEMA regional staff are committed to proving support as the Township continues the process and efforts of reducing flood risk by enforcing a comprehensive floodplain management program.
FEMA does not intend to publish further statements on this issue. All inquiries should be directed to Londonderry Township.