Rubio, Posey Reintroduce Legislation to Improve Flood Hazard Identification in FEMA Maps

Washington, D.C., Jul 22 2021 U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL) reintroduced the Flood Insurance Rate Map Interagency Technology (FIRM IT) Act. This bicameral legislation would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to consult with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in order to obtain the most up-to-date information relevant to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rate maps. This will provide Floridians and others who utilize NFIP, with the most accurate data for flood hazard identification.  Rubio and Posey first introduced this legislation in April 2019.

“Florida businesses and homeowners rely on FEMA to provide accurate information on their risk for flooding, hence why these maps must be up-to-date and correct,” Rubio said. “This legislation will require FEMA to coordinate with relevant federal agencies to ensure that coastal communities in Florida, and across the nation, have the highest-quality flood maps.”

“In many cases we haven’t updated our floodplain maps in 20 years. This proposal will help us do that cheaper, faster, more accurately, and without duplication,” Posey said. “I thank Sen. Rubio for his leadership in the Senate on this important issue.”

“The FIRM IT Act will add essential features to FEMA flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs), make greater use of state-of-the-art geospatial technology, and make the maps more accurate and useful. We commend Senator Rubio for his contributions toward improved mapping,” John Palatiello, Founder of U.S. GEO, said.

“NSPS commends Senator Rubio for introducing the FIRM IT Act which focuses on data sharing, and specifically improving efforts on topographic and cadastral data where it is available,” Curtis W. Sumner, Executive Director of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), said.

“Florida Surveying and Mapping Society applauds Senator Rubio for this beneficial legislation. The inclusion of geographic attributes in the FIRM IT Act will provide a better platform for our state’s citizens and the Federal agencies in addressing flood risk management and recovery,” Dianne M. Collins, PLS, Past President of the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS), said.