Flood Maps And Reducing Community Flood Risks

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Room 2325 Rayburn
3:00 to 4:00 PM

Floods are the second most deadly natural disaster in the U.S. after heat waves. On average, 140 lives and $6 billion worth of property are lost every year. Extremely catastrophic events such as the 1927 Mississippi flood which breached 145 levees killing 245 people and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina flooding, which caused $200 billion in damage, put significant additional burdens on multiple communities and the nation. This briefing will focus on the federal Flood Hazard Mapping Program and how mapping modernization is helping to reduce risks. Understanding the management, science, engineering and implementation of flood maps is one step to reducing risk. In addition, education and public outreach to local communities about flood maps can help save lives and mitigate damage.



William Anderson, Associate Executive Director in the Division on Earth and Life Studies and Director of the Natural Disasters Roundtable at the National Academies/ National Research Council


Doug Bellomo, Director, Risk Analysis Division, Flood Hazard Mapping, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Overview of FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping Program

James K. Murphy, Project Director, URS Corporation
Flood Hazard Mapping - Future Directions and Challenges - The Science and Engineering
“Underneath” the Maps

Sally McConkey, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, State Water Survey
Boots on the Ground: Using Flood Hazard Mapping at the Local Level

Speaker Biographies

William Anderson is associate executive director in the Division on Earth and Life Studies and director of the Disasters Roundtable at the National Academies. From June 1999 to June 2001, he served as senior advisor in the Disaster Management Facility in the Infrastructure Division at the World Bank. For more than twenty years, he held various positions at NSF, including program director, section head, acting division director, and senior advisor. While at NSF, he was responsible for developing natural hazards research programs that included the social sciences and for providing oversight for such large-scale research activities as the NSF-funded earthquake engineering research centers and the cooperative program on wind engineering. Anderson has held concurrent assignments with the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and the Department of State. Prior to his appointment at NSF, Anderson was a professor of sociology at Arizona State University. He also taught at Ohio State University and Kent State University. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, he served as field director at the Disaster Research Center where he directed teams conducting research on the impacts of natural and technological disasters. Anderson currently serves on the advisory board of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, and on the executive advisory board of the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois.

Doug Bellomo, P.E. is a civil engineer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, DC. He is currently the Director of the Risk Analysis Division within the Mitigation Directorate of FEMA. Division responsibilities include flood hazard mapping as part of the National Flood Insurance Program, Risk Assessment, Mitigation Planning, as well as the National Hurricane and Dam Safety programs. Mr. Bellomo is a professional engineer and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering. He has been working with flood hazard and other mitigation issues for about 14 years.

Jim Murphy, P.E. is currently working for the URS Corporation to support DHS and FEMA on hazard related contracts. He has been working as a consultant for the National Flood Insurance Program since 1978. Jim’s efforts have included flood mapping work for all 50 states and assisting FEMA in making the transition from “paper” map products to the digital maps. Of note is his recent participation on several national committees working with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review and develop policy for certifying, accrediting, and mapping levees. Mr. Murphy is a civil engineering graduate from the University of Colorado, and also has an MBA from George Mason University.

Sally McConkey. P.E., CFM is a registered professional engineer, a certified floodplain manager, and holds the title of Senior Professional Scientist at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, State Water Survey (IDNR/SWS). She has served on the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management Board of Directors for 10 years. She co-chairs the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Mapping and Engineering Standards Committee. She is manager of the Floodplain Mapping Program at the IDNR/SWS where Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) production is complete or in progress for over 58 Illinois counties. She has Bachelor of Science degree Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Math and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


The Association of State Floodplain Managers
Dewberry Inc.
URS Corporation