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Recovery Assistance & Mitigation Planning

Recovery Planner Jennifer Gerbasi

 
 

FloodSafe Information

Flooding is an issue for a large number of residents in the Parish and will continue to affect the day to day decisions we make. Changes to insurance premiums and federal funding may have an impact on the lives of your constituents whether they are in the Special Flood Hazard Area or not.


Flood Insurance Refunds

Posted on 09/15/2014

FEMA has provided some information on the flood insurance customers who may receive refunds after the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 rolled back some of the high rates from the Biggert Waters Act of 2012. Attached is the cheat sheet created to help people know whether they may or may not get a refund. It is not as simple as we would all like, but people struggling with this issue may find some relief.
It appears from the text that the refunds are being processed by the NFIP and will be out later this year. There is no contact information in the NFIP materials requesting the insureds to request these refunds. Anyone who wants to know if their policy is being considered for a refund may benefit from calling their agent and asking them to inquire.

Related Information

FEMA NFIP Update

Update on the Hazard Mitigation Plan Development

Posted on 08/04/2014

The Steering Committee and interested members of the public have now met twice to discuss the revisions needed to the existing Hazard Mitigation Plan last updated in 2009 and approved by FEMA in 2010. To review the meeting agendas, presentations and notes, visit the Department of Planning and Zoning Recovery Assistance and Mitigation Planning Division website section specific to the plan development. http://www.tpcg.org/hmpu

The site has the agendas, meeting notes, and presentations from each meeting. The last meeting included the assessment of the risk, the problem, draft goals of the process and plan, and a preliminary review of possible future risk reduction activities. Specifically, the meeting covered a review of past accomplishments, historical damages data and future risk projections, and invited discussion on new projects proposed to reduce risk in the future. The Steering Committee is seeking public information regarding the accuracy of the maps that show past damages, critical facilities, etc. and projects that would reduce risk in the Parish. Risk reduction equals savings on recovery, mitigation, insurance, and displacement from homes and jobs. 

The Committee is seeking input as well on what flood-related data we do NOT have but the community feels is necessary to properly assess risk throughout the Parish. One suggestion received is data on the elevation of homes and roads in the forced drainage areas outside the special flood hazard area.
If you have a suggestions or concerns, please consider attending or contact Jennifer Gerbasi @ 985-873-6565 / jgerbasi@tpcg.org or the Project Manager, Nicole Cutforth at 858-3983.

The next meeting is August 7, 2014 from 10-12 at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum located at 7910 Park Ave.

Related Information

Advertised Invitation to the Public

What is covered by a flood insurance policy?

Posted on 07/23/2014

We are in the storm season and have considered the need for a response plan, and the need to get insurance, but what does a National Flood Insurance Program policy cover? Please review the attachment and decide if your current level of protection is sufficient. Some of the caps on coverage have been raised under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, but the basics of coverage and limitations remain the same.

Related Information

FEMA Coverage Brochure

Preventing Pollution Saves Money and Improves Water Quality

Posted on 07/07/2014

Terrebonne Parish is required to take steps to reduce stormwater pollution in an effort to have fishable, swimmable waters in Louisiana’s Bayou Country.
These laws require chosen the Parish to do six things:
1) Conduct outreach and education about polluted stormwater runoff.
2) Provide opportunities for residents to participate in conversations/activities to reduce pollution
3) Detect illicit discharges (e.g. straight piping or dumping).
4) Control construction site runoff.
5) Control post-construction runoff.
6) Perform municipal housekeeping (e.g. take steps to prevent runoff from city buildings and activities.)
Many people simply don’t know that, unlike sewer drainage systems which flow to treatment plants; water entering the community’s storm drain system flows unfiltered and untreated into the bayous. Once one understands this crucial difference, one recognizes that even without the force of Federal law, these six required steps are all day-to-day essentials for any community which depends on its wetlands, coastal reaches, rivers, canals, ditches, and bayous for its quality of life and the health of its local economy.
See the attachment for no cost or inexpensive ways to keep our bayous clean and reduce municipal and storm damage costs.

Related Information

How we can and Why we should control stormwater

It is time to Get a Plan and Get Insured!

Posted on 05/07/2014

Storm season starts officially June 1, and who knows what is ahead? Are you ready?

Get a Plan
You and your family need to know what to do in response to a storm. Where will you go? Who should family members call if you are separated? Are there food, water and medical supplies for your time out of the house and when you return? Are all of your most important documents (including bills that are due) in a floodsafe and firesafe place or ready to be carried with you?
If you don’t know where to start, FEMA has very simple forms to fill out to get all your important information in one place. This website is written for families and has answers, forms and activities for kids and parents. The attachment is the communication form from this site. http://www.ready.gov/kids

Get Insured!
It is also a great time to get insured. The Severe Repetitive Loss elevation program application period is open, but you can’t get funded unless you have a policy in place by June 27, 2015. This can take several weeks to get in place, so call an agent NOW! to get started. Be sure that you get your application in before a storm is brewing somewhere in the Gulf.
Go to https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/residential_coverage/rc_overview.jsp for FloodSmart.gov for more information about the insurance available for residences, condos, renters, and businesses.

Related Information

Communication Form

Beyond the Basics – Hazard Mitigation Plan Development Tips

Posted on 04/25/2014

A new website is available to help communities get Beyond the Basics in their approach to reducing flood risk and other hazards. The website was designed to walk communities through the plan drafting process to have a place-specific plan that helps each community reach its goals. For a great look at what the update of a plan looks like, visit http://mitigationguide.org/
Over the next 4-6 months, the Parish will be updating the Hazard Mitigation Plan as required by FEMA. More than a FEMA requirement to earn mitigation funding, this is an opportunity to brainstorm about how to build safer and stronger for the future. The site provides step by step advice and worksheets to help communities through the decision making process. Links lead readers to whatever level of detail each needs.
The Parish is in the process of hiring a firm to manage the process and draft the plan. These professionals have drafted many plans adopted by FEMA and the State. However, it is Terrebonne Parish’s plan, and only the input of local stakeholders will make it our plan, and our future. If you would like to actively participate in the plan development, call Jennifer Gerbasi at 873-6565 to receive updates on meeting and materials.
The Beyond the Basics website was developed as part of a multi-year research study funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence and led by the Center for Sustainable Community Design within the Institute for the Environment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


CDBG Elevation Cost Share Program

Posted on 03/18/2014


In an effort to serve ensure access to mitigation programs for low to moderate (LMI) households, the Office of Community Development has received HUD approval to use Community Development Block Grant funds to assist LMI households with the local cost share match required for most elevation programs.
The Parish has an opportunity to apply for $300,000 in aide for LMI households from this program and will hold a public hearing on the matter in the 6th floor Council Conference Room Monday March 24th, 2014 at 4:30 if you have any interest in attending.
The funding is reserved for LMI households that are also receiving FEMA elevation grants. It is expected that approximately 10-12 households will be served. Letters have been sent inviting people who have expressed concerns about meeting a match in the past to encourage participation. Each household will need to provide income information for an official determination of eligibility based on inability to pay.
This is the first time this targeted approach has been tested by the state. The parish hopes to elevate those households that would otherwise remain in unsafe conditions or lose their homes.

Related Information

Public Notice of Public Hearing

Kids Can Get Ready for Storms, Too

Posted on 02/25/2014

To help kids feel that they have a part in protecting themselves in a disaster situation, the Department of Homeland Security has created a website with tools and suggestions. Colorful characters Ray, Gayle, Misti, Sonny, and Raina show kids how to make a plan, what to put in an emergency kit, and other useful information. This is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Youth Preparedness Program with tips for kids, parents and educators. Share this link with friends and family to help kids get ready, and feel more secure.  the site is available in english and spanish at this time.  http://www.ready.gov/kids



Slab Separation as an Elevation Option

Posted on 02/03/2014

People could save a lot by choosing a slab separation if they are elevating a house.  A slab separation allows the contractor to cut the house from the slab, build a new subfloor, and elevate the lighter house.  This provides a floor that has no flood damage, and a lighter structure to lift and stabilize.  This method is cheaper and can help the homeowner save on the required match (25% of the total project cost, generally).

 

The “drawback” is that the flooring is lost, and cabinets and the bottom of the walls have to be removed and then put back in place.  This happens in many homes after a storm, but by the time the federal grants for elevation arrive, the walls, tiles, and cabinets are already replaced and the slab elevation is more attractive.  This can add years of delay and $20,000 - $35,000 to a home elevation.  This is inefficient and leaves the home and improvements at risk of flood unnecessarily while the owner waits on grant funds for the most expensive elevation type. 

 

The Parish is working with state and federal staff and national groups in attempts to receive grant funds from disasters closer to the time that insurance payments are received.  This would make it easier for people to lower their flood risk while they rebuild.  Emergency repairs need to happen immediately, but often much more rebuilding happens without mitigation.  Those repair investments sometimes preclude cost effective mitigation methods like slab separation and could put the Parish at risk of not complying with the National Flood Insurance Program.  If successful, federal grants will be available to elevate a flooded structure at the same time it is being repaired. 

For more information, go to http://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/mat/sec5.pdf, download “Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting,” FEMA P-312, Second Edition, December 2009, or check it out of one of the local libraries.  This guide covers six (6) options for retrofitting a house to avoid flooding.  Slab separation is on page 12 of the attachment (page 98) and in Chapter 5 of the book. 

Related Information

Homeower's Guide To Retrofitting - FEMA P-312

Maximize Your Insurance Benefits – Get Insurance Now

Posted on 02/03/2014


The hurricane season is months off, but it is always good to prepare.  Getting flood insurance now will also lock in other benefits.  Some federal programs require the home to be insured 180 days prior to the grant application being offered.  The Hazard Mitigation Assistance yearly grant program usually opens on June 1, so get your insurance now! 

 

Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC, is a benefit of any National Flood Insurance Program backed flood insurance policy that may provide up to $30,000 to elevate, relocate or demolish the structure.  This insurance benefit is only available to those who have made a certain number of claims. 

 

Call your agent now to be sure that you can take advantage of grants, ICC, or other benefits that may be offered by the state or federal government agencies. 

 

Sent 1-2-14


Demolition – A Mitigation Option

Posted on 12/26/2013

Many people think that elevation is the only option for using ICC. 

 
Demolishing a house prior to rebuilding or without rebuilding is available as well.
ICC for hurricanes Katrina and Rita has been extended to 2015. A structure that was damaged and declared to be substantially damaged due to the 2005 storms may be eligible to be demolished with ICC funds. Call your insurance agent to find out more. 

Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC, is a benefit of any National Flood Insurance Program backed flood insurance policy. If a property becomes substantially damaged, the policy holder can request up to $30,000 to 
 
  • Elevate the structure, 
  • Relocate the structure outside the floodplain, or 
  • Demolish the structure. 
In order to receive ICC, the structure needs to have claims on that policy, not proof of floods. 
 
The Parish is obligated under the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to declare structures substantially damaged if it would cost more than 50% of the value to repair or has insurance claims or repair permits that add up to at least 50% of the assessed value.
 
This is required by NFIP to get flood insurance in the Parish, and can’t be avoided.
The structure could be condemned if the condition is bad enough, and the Parish may be required to demolish the structure and recoup the cost of demolition from the owner. 
 
Demolishing with the ICC leaves more savings to purchase or build another, safer home.
The Parish offered a voluntary demolition program through the Gustav/Ike Recovery Plan funded with Community Development Block Grant funds. At this time ten (10) properties will be cleared of storm damaged structures eliminating slum and blight in the parish.


FEMA Tips for Preventing Flood Damage

Posted on 11/22/2013

Sometimes common sense prevails in preventing flood damage. Sometimes flood damages are from openings in the house that could be sealed or appliances that could be raised at a minimal cost, but with 2 inches of water were destroyed. The attached flier has some helpful suggestions about how to prevent losses from low level flooding. Some of these changes may also have a positive effect on your flood insurance premium. Call your insurance agent for more information on specific savings for water heater placement, etc.

Anyone needing to know their flood zone may be able to find that through their insurance agent, or the LSU Agricultural Center updated Website at http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps/?FIPS=22109. If you prefer call Lisa Ledet, Parish Floodplain Manager at 985-873-6567.

Related Information

FEMA - Avoiding Flood Damage - Flier

Flooded by Gustav/Ike?

Posted on 11/22/2013

Insured households can still receive up to $30,000 toward elevating, relocating or demolishing the structure.

The Parish residents and businesses have been very resourceful in rebuilding since hurricanes Gustav and Ike, though funding is sometimes slow to arrive. Insurance benefits called “Increased Cost of Compliance” (ICC) often provide up to $30,000 to reduce flood risk by elevating, relocating or demolishing the structure. The traditional two-year timeframe to take advantage of this benefit has been extended for people who can show good reason for not moving forward sooner. Ask your insurance agent about the waiver process. Anyone who has been in a grant program but not moved forward may receive a waiver.

Many people, whether in a grant program or through their own funds, use this money to reduce their flood risk and come into compliance (usually elevation) directly or to provide a match required for a federal grant. Individuals who have been flooded suffering losses above 50% of the value of the home are considered substantially damaged under the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance. Substantially damaged structures are not compliant with the Ordinance and need to mitigate in 3 years. ICC can help people come into compliance as it was intended. This extension may be a second chance for people who were rejected from ICC after September 2012 or never applied.

See the attached document for the original insurance bulletin for details explaining the waiver.

Related Information

Offical Explanation of Waiver Process

Upcoming Flood Insurance Changes

Posted on 11/22/2013

The October 1, 2013 implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act 2012 will kick-off next week. The Parish President has been a proponent of a delay or significant revision to the law prior to implementation and administrative and congressional fixes may come to be in the future. The State of Mississippi has filed a lawsuit against the Federal government for relief. While the discussion continues, there is no delay expected prior to next week. 

 
Parts of the law goes into effect Tuesday October 1st. Certain properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area built before 1974 will no longer pay a subsidized rate based on earlier designations. Policies will increase at renewal over the next year.
  • All policies will increase 16% this year as part of the standard increase (11%) and 5% for the new reserve fund to save for catastrophic events. 
  • New purchases and lapsed policies for pre-FIRM structures (built to code prior to 1974) will be paying at full rates immediately. If a policy lapses, there is a 30-day grace period to continue the original policy. 
  • Properties that are Severe Repetitive Losses or have claims equal to 100% of the value of the home and Secondary Residences will go up 25% of the current premium until it reaches the actuarial rate. 
Read below for excerpts related to the summaries above. For much more detail about who will see what changes click this link http://www.nfipiservice.com/Stakeholder/FEMA/W-13016.html or the attachment to see the Write Your Own bulletin from the NFIP regarding the October 1 changes.

Related Information

Quick Summary of Changes
Complete Document

Freeboard Found Cost Effective in NFIP Benefit Analysis

Posted on 09/13/2013

Due to changes in the federal flood insurance program, these are times of uncertainty for people living near any waterbody. Prior to when these manmade threats came to be, engineers and builders were investigating the cost effectiveness of various building methods including freeboard. When a structure is built 1-3 feet above the known flood risk (base flood elevation) it is called freeboard. Individuals can benefit from significant insurance savings (up to 62%) from using freeboard, and the community received Community Rating System points for requiring it in the ordinance possibly receiving greater discounts on flood insurance premiums community-wide. But is it cost effective? Read the 2008 Supplement for the Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Building Standards to see why they believe it is cost effective. It can be cost effective and may provide a buffer against future changes to the flood insurance regulations.

Related Information

Freeboard Cost Benefit Analysis

Public Meetings Start for Flood Ordinance Changes

Posted on 06/21/2013

The Parish is entering the outreach phase of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance amendment. The amendments have been developed by the Planning Department to reduce flood risk and insurance rates in the Parish. With the potential increases due to the changes to the Community Rating System and the Biggert-Waters Act, the Parish will need to protect and increase discounts.

Please see the attached flier and press release for details on the meeting dates and sites. Other meetings will occur with industry groups and quasi governmental committees. Future notices will announce those meetings. Please feel welcome to attend any or all of these meetings to hear what the public reaction to the proposed amendments.

Public Meetings Will Be Held Day and Evening Across the Parish:

  • Wednesday, June 19 – Noon
    Holiday Inn – Houma Rotary Club Lunch
    1800 Martin Luther King Blvd., Houma
  • Wednesday, June 19 – 6:00 pm
    Dulac Community Center –
    125 Coast Guard Road, Dulac
  • Tuesday, June 25 – Noon
    Gibson Elementary School
    6357 South Bayou Black Drive, Gibson
  • Tuesday, June 25 – 6:00 pm
    Montegut Gym
    107 Recreation Drive, Montegut
The Dulac Community Center kindly will provide a community dinner to encourage participation in their community. Bayou Grace has generously allowed us to take advantage of their community dinner series as well for the Montegut presentation. The Houma Rotary Club has opened their club luncheon to the public where lunch will be available for purchase if desired. BISCO has offered to help in the recruitment for all of the meetings. The community has been very open to providing venues for public input and participation.

A powerpoint presentation will be available on the website www.floodsafeterrebonne.com next week. An online survey tool and comment tool will also be active next week for those who can’t attend a meeting.

Please call if you have questions, suggestions or concerns.

Related Information

Flier for Meetings
Press Release

Good Construction Management Benefits Everyone

Posted on 05/10/2013

Construction activities have the potential to create pollution in our streets and bayous that cost us money. Water treatment, dredging, street cleaning, storm drain clogs can be costly and the general health of our bayous can be impaired. If mud is getting into the street or drains, the site may be in violation. Currently, sites under one acre are exempt from filing plans.

Clogged drains and pipes raise the flood risks of neighborhoods during disasters, torrential rains, and an average rain. Mud in the street can cause unsafe conditions. Mud in the bayous can jeopardize compliance with the Clean Water Act. Please review the management practices suggested in the attachments. Contact the permits department to report mud or debris that is not contained properly onsite.

Related Information

Best Management Practices for Erosion Control
Erosion Control Measures

What to know before you buy or build

Posted on 04/26/2013

There are always risks involved in owning a home or business including wind, fire or water damage from a flood or storm. Protect your investments by looking into the history of the buildings you might buy or build based on past damages and predictions of future threats. Your floodplain manager in the Department of Planning and Zoning can provide the flood zone and height for any property in the Parish. The flood history has to come from the seller or agent. See the attachment for a list of considerations for buying or choosing the site for your next property.

Related Information

FloodSmart Minute 4-25-13

Homebuilder's Guide To Coastal Construction

Posted on 04/11/2013

Concern over insurance rates is increasing as questions about the Biggert-Waters Act remain unanswered, and uncertainty is the result. Remember that in the background, the Planning Department continues to pursue avenues to protect or increase our discounts, and provide ways for residents and builders to retrofit or build in ways that will reduce that insurance bill.

The attached document is a FEMA bulletin that outlines building practices that reduce risk. These practices also help the Parish residents save on insurance since FEMA runs the National Flood Insurance Program as well. The proposed changes to the parish Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance embrace these practices to protect the 20% discount we have now, and possibly increase that discount when we need it most. The sections of text in bright blue are specific recommendations for the ordinance (freeboard described below, open foundations, ductwork and mechanics above the flood risk, and limits on enclosures).

Below is a sample of the savings that is possible above and beyond this discount from “freeboard,” or building higher than the base flood elevation (BFE). The BFE is the minimum height that a structure can be built in the flood zone. Requiring a higher elevation through the ordinance will help protect the parishwide discount, and the discounts below for individual houses. The savings is so great that the mortgage (even before the increased rates expected) cost per month is lower even though the initial cost of building is an estimated .25%-1.5% higher.

Please contact me at 985-873-6565 if you have questions about this information.

$160,000 house with a 6.5% interest loan over 30 years.

Related Information

Successful Coastal Building Techniques
For More Information

Top Ten Facts about Flood Insurance

Posted on 04/01/2013

Did you know that flood insurance is available for renters? That your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover flood? That anyone can buy insurance, but there is a 30 day wait before it takes affect? Read more about getting protected in the “Top Ten Facts about Flood Insurance.”

Related Information

Top 10 Facts about NFIP

New Federal Changes to Insurance Premiums

Posted on 04/01/2013

Please find below and attached information on the new insurance changes that started to take effect in January of this year. Other provisions will begin in August. In general, grandfathering for homes built after the National flood Insurance Program began providing flood maps will be phased out. While the Planning Department is working on tools to protect Terrebonne’s access to insurance and public outreach will be provided by an number of sources, residents are likely to begin asking questions regarding these changes. The Department has been able to secure an insurance rating that earns a 20% discount for Terrebonne property owners. New efforts this year aim at retaining that discount or increasing it to 25%. The discount will not be able to offset the increases for many. 

 
Call Jennifer Gerbasi at 873-6565 for information specific to Terrebonne Mitigation Programs or funding options, or Lisa Ledet at 873-6567 regarding elevation requirements or substantially damaged properties. 
 
For more information from the federal government on flood insurance or to get a quote call 1-888-379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov .

Related Information

FloodSafe Minute NHMA Biggert 2/28/13

Floodplain Regulations and the Court

Posted on 04/01/2013

Please find attached information on floodplain regulations and the courts. Some jurisdictions have faced legal challenges both for approving and denying permits for development activities. This summary provides information about the court outcomes of some cases which gives insight to the Council’s ability to lower our flood risks and protect property rights for and from development. 

 
Call Jennifer Gerbasi at 873-6565 for information specific to Terrebonne Mitigation Programs or for more Association of State Floodplain Manager materials. 
 
For more information from the federal government on flood insurance or to get a quote call 1-888-379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov .

Related Information

Common Questions about Floodplain Regulation
Erosion Control Measures
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