Environment
5:00 am
Mon July 23, 2012

UNC Study Evaluates Flood Plans

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are helping communities develop better plans for dealing with floods. The result could be lower flood insurance rates for homeowners.

Dave DeWitt: Flood insurance is a major consideration for many in eastern North Carolina, where some entire counties lie in the floodplain. Since private insurers won’t offer policies, homeowners get flood insurance through National Flood Insurance Program, run by FEMA.

A new study out of UNC-Chapel Hill evaluates the quality of flood plans developed by individual communities. Phil Berke led the research. He’s the deputy director of the Institute for the Environment at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Phil Berke: Well the quality of the plans in general across the country are not very good. I think in North Carolina they’re a little better, but they have a long way to go for improvement.

Berke says the study results will be adopted by FEMA in the rating system it uses to evaluate a community’s flood plans. The higher a plan scores, the better the policy rates will be for homeowners in that community.