Executive Order: Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters

Original Fact Sheet: Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters

Executive Order – Establishing A Federal Flood Risk Management Standard And A Process For Further Soliciting And Considering Stakeholder Input

FEMA Flood Risk Management Site

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard – Proposed Jan 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: press@ceq.eop.gov
January 30, 2015

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters

Across the country, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change are threatening the health, safety, and prosperity of our communities. This month, NOAA and NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest global year on record. And as the planet continues to warm, impacts like rising sea levels, intensified storms, and heavy downpours are contributing to an increased risk of flooding. President Obama is committed to ensuring that American communities thrive in the face of a changing climate. That is why, today, the President signed an Executive Order establishing a flood standard that will reduce the risk and cost of future flood disasters by requiring all Federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet higher flood risk standards. By requiring that Federally funded buildings, roads and other infrastructure are constructed to better withstand the impacts of flooding, the President’s action will support the thousands of communities that have strengthened their local floodplain management codes and standards, and will help ensure Federal projects last as long as intended.

This new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, called for by the President’s State, Local and Tribal Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, builds on the unprecedented actions President Obama has taken to support communities as they prepare for the impacts of climate change. Agencies will have flexibility in implementing the new Standard and will incorporate input from the public and stakeholders as they move forward, including through a series of public listening sessions across the country. This week, the Army Corps of Engineers released a comprehensive study that evaluates flood risks to the coastal areas affected by Hurricane Sandy and provides a framework to help communities address increasing flood risks. The study, which was called for by Congress, emphasizes the importance of improved planning, and notes that managing coastal storm risk is a shared responsibility by all levels of government. The Administration has made significant investments in resilient disaster recovery in the wake of devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy to ensure that infrastructure projects factor in climate impacts like rising sea levels, and to invest in making transit systems more resilient to flooding and extreme weather.