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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday’s L.A. Lesson

William Gibson states, “When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re falling apart.” Yikes, that could be applicable to a number of things in society today but here’s one that is receiving some attention in the news lately. It’s one that all homeowners should understand because in some way, shape or form, these changes can slowly trickle down and before you know it, you may be part of these legislative changes. It is already making impacts on landscape architecture and how we design. So what is it?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the process of remapping flood zones. If you live or are building in a coastal location, you may already be aware of its impact. But don’t think it stops at coastal zoning. Visit the site and you can find useful information that all homeowners should be paying attention to regarding reassessments on properties in ‘high-risk areas and if it reflects a true flood risk’. Understanding topography or low lying flood zones may seem irrelevant to most but it all matters when legislation like this appears. Just for giggles, enter a zip code on the Floodsmart site and see if you recognize why the city or town listed may be listed as part of this remapping legislation. It will make you remember, “Oh, yeah. It was just a few years ago when those streets were flooded for days.” Or you’ll think about that pristine reservoir as it sits on a hill but realize its devastation if any part of its dam let go. Remember the William Gibson quote. “When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re falling apart.” Unfortunately, we learn our lessons too late.

Let's consider storm frequency and intensity. What once was considered a 25-year storm event now occurs more frequently. You may remember reading about that tidbit here. It's also been mentioned in previous posts how federal legislation impacts state and local municipalities when it comes to storm water management regs and development of a property. Now it's time to pay attention to the remapping of flood zone areas. It’s been a long time coming and there’s clearly been some resistance because it can change the playing field. But like so many things as it relates to design and development, you can’t fool with the laws of Mother nature as to when she hits or where. With the devastating damage of Hurricane Sandy still fresh in our memory bank, this post serves as a wake-up call. Pay attention, especially as this year was extremely quiet on the hurricane front. L.A. Lesson for this November Tuesday – Eyes on the forefront and be prepared for the storms ahead. 

P.S. Hopefully Blogger's email subscriber function is working this morning and sends you yesterday’s post as well.

Image by Ann Bilowz ©  

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)