Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy

FEMA and NOAA asked the National Research Council to examine the factors that affect flood map accuracy; assess the costs and benefits of producing more accurate maps; and recommend ways to improve mapping, communication, and management of flood-related data. The report Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy concludes significant loss of life, destroyed property and businesses, and repairs to infrastructure could be avoided by replacing FEMA flood maps with ones that contain high-accuracy and high-resolution land surface elevation data. The benefits of more accurate flood maps will outweigh the costs, mainly because insurance premiums and building restrictions would better match the actual flood risks. Coastal region flood maps could also be improved by updating current models and using two-dimensional storm surge and wave models.




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