The Town of Hempstead recently welcomed FEMA officials to Town Hall to begin a weeklong assessment of the town’s compliance with the management requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and to identify program deficiencies in the recovery process after Superstorm Sandy.
FEMA officials will review procedures put in place by previous administrations and implemented by the Town’s department of buildings and floodplain manager in order to assist residents adversely impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
“My administration is committed to transparency and welcomes the top-to-bottom review of the policies and procedures that were put in place over six years ago under the Murray administration,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen. “Our goal is not to castigate, but rather improve the Town’s operations in order to help those who were left in limbo after Sandy and help prepare for the next storm.”
During the visit, FEMA officials will be surveying homes in the town’s floodplain, inspecting community permit files, and meeting with elected and appointed officials in order to assess the effectiveness of the town’s local floodplain management system and resolve any deficiencies.
“It is in everyone’s best interest to help streamline our department before the next emergency,” said Supervisor Gillen, who noted that the official start of hurricane season is only two weeks away. “I am committed to finding ways to optimize the operations of the Town’s building department.”
The goal of the Town is to come out with a “clean” report, and then take the necessary next steps to participate in the community ratings system (CRS), which could offer reductions on premiums for NFIP policy participants. Participation in the CRS is reflective of a community’s successful demonstration of the NFIP program rules, but also by evidencing a robust effort to educate constituents about the importance of mitigation and storm preparedness.