Birmingham, Alabama ranks among the top 100 cities nationally in measures to protect its citizens from the adverse affects of floods, according to officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA, enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. Currently, 20,000 communities in the United States safeguard their residents against catastrophic losses from flooding.
According to NFIP, Birmingham is among the top 29 of 2,800 communities in the eight southeastern states and in the top 92 of the 20,000 NFIP communities nationally. Birmingham’s high ranking is a result of steps taken by the city in flood mitigation, storm-water management and buyouts of flood hazard neighborhoods and structures.
The city has converted more than 1,100 properties in flood hazard zones to open space and recreational parks. Due to its hilly terrain, a number of areas in the city were repeatedly flooded and declared disaster areas following periods of prolonged rain.
This ranking offers good news for both the city and the residents who have flood insurance. It means policyholders can qualify for a discount of up to 20 percent on premiums, which reportedly saves them an average of $160 a year.
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