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Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program 1-Percent Annual Chance Flood Standard

Principal Investigator(s) 

An in-depth assessment of the adequacy of the 1-percent annual chance flood standard as a key component of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and an examination of the impacts of possible changes to this standard or the establishment of a new standard. In carrying out this task the team is fully examining the scientific, social and political aspects of the establishment of floodplain regulatory standards in general and the 1-percent standard in particular, how such standards influence behavior and as a result, the costs to the nation of flooding, and what benefits or costs, if any, might accrue from changes in the standard.

The evaluation is both quantitative and qualitative and draws from a wide range of sources. Our team intends to cast a wide net to draw from the knowledge of individuals, organizations, and databases throughout the nation and, in some cases, from experiences abroad. Based on the collective experience of team members and from interviews conducted during the research, it is clear that data do not exist that provide incontrovertible evidence of the efficacy of or the absolute deficiency in use of a 1-percent standard. However, careful analysis of a wide variety of data, some national, some local, and data developed through models such as HAZUS, the loss risk estimator developed by FEMA, the project has been able to develop defensible responses to the quantitative and qualitative evaluation questions posed.