Friday, May 16, 2014

CRS Webinar Trainings Available

The CRS offers webinars and workshops to help communities with their CRS requirements. If you are interested in having a webinar on the 2013 Coordinator’s Manual, the FEMA Elevation Certificate, or any other activity, contact your ISO/CRS Specialist. The following one-hour topical webinars are on the calendar, and others can be scheduled as needed. Many of these will be recorded, so they can be accessed later.

Registration is free, but required, as space is limited. Some courses provide continuing education credits for Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs). For more details and to register, go to
            All webinars begin at 1:00 pm EST
--Introduction to the CRS— May 20, 2014; July 15, 2014; October 21, 2014; December 16, 2014
--Activity 430 (Higher Regulatory Standards)—  May 21, 2014
--Preparing for a Verification Visit with the 2013 Coordinator’s Manual—June 17, 2014; November 18, 2014
--Natural Floodplain Functions— June 18, 2014; August 20, 2014
--Activity 540 (Drainage System Maintenance) — July 16, 2014; September 17, 2014
--Preparing for the Annual CRS Recertification— August 19, 2014; September 16, 2014
--Developing Outreach Projects under Activity 330— October 22, 2014
--Activity 610 (Flood Warning and Response) — November 19, 2014
--Developing a Program for Public Information under Activity 330 or a Coverage Improvement Plan under Activity 370, and Using FloodSmart Tools— December 17, 2014
Some of the other webinars anticipated in 2014 and 2015 are
--CRS Credit for Mapping and Regulations: The 400 Series
--CRS Credit for Flood Damage Reduction: The 500 Series
--The CRS and Climate Change.

For more on the CRS webinar series, to register, and to obtain agendas and required materials, go to If you have questions about the CRS Webinar Series or suggestions for future topics, please contact

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Planning for Increasing Precipitation and Flooding

A recent article was published in the New York Times on 5/12/14 - "Looks Like Rain Again.  And Again."  In the article, the author cites past studies from 2 decades ago or earlier that predicted the changes in our climate that we are now living through, namely increased precipitation during storm events.  Long term climate data has shown that the Northeastern US has seen a dramatic increase in precipitation amounts falling during storm events.  And when there is an increase in the amount of rain or snow falling during a storm, it usually ends up resulting in a greater frequency of flooding in places that have traditionally acted as floodplains.  Another result may be that people may start to see areas that had very rarely flooded in the past flood on a somewhat regular basis.  Some of these thoughts and ideas can be seen in a New York Times blog post "Three Long Views of Life With Rising Seas" that contains 3 interviews focused on how humans may look to deal with impacts from sea level rise.

This isn't the first time that we have seen evidence of increasing precipitation in the Northeastern US.  If anyone reading this has been to one of our presentations to communities, you may have seen a graphic that was taken from a report that was released from the White House Council on Environmental Quality -"Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force: Recommended Actions in Support of a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (10/2010)".  This report found that there had been a 67% increase in the amount of precipitation that was falling during the heaviest storm events each year.  That means that the biggest storm events that we experience each year is bringing more rain or snow on average.

I think that many Vermont communities have been experiencing this increase in precipitation and flooding first hand.  Some of you may already be aware of the ANR Flood Resilience Sharepoint website.  This website aims to include information that individuals and community officials can use to better prepare for the increased flooding and precipitation that we have been experiencing around the State and in New England.  This Sharepoint site will be replaced this summer by a collaborative website that will be called Flood Ready.  The intent of the Flood Ready website is to expand upon the information that can be found on the ANR Flood Resilience Sharepoint site and present it in a way that can be helpful to a wide range of users.

Have you been noticing changes in your own community?  What steps have you been taking to try to address this issue?