The NFIP was established by statute in 1968 in that year’s HOUSING ACT. The first policy was issued in June, 1969 to Monroe County in Florida. Recently it has gone through 13 short term extensions leading to departure of its largest policy servicer, STATE FARM, that once had over 800,000 policies.
A Mitigation and Research Directorate headed by a Presidential Appointed Senate Confirmed Appointee, was established when FEMA was first opening its doors in 1979 under E.O.12127. It also had a Federal Insurance Administration headed by a PAS also but before FEMA and for a while afterwards administering programs pursuant to the URBAN PROPERTY PROTECTION Act no longer active.
A reorganization ordered by Director Louis O. Guiffrida in September 1981 eliminated the M& R Directorate. A Mitigation Directorate was again established in November 1993 and lasted until a FEMA reorganization in 2001.
Now both the NFIP and Mitigation are housed in a Federal Insurance And Mitigation Administration in FEMA and DAVID MILLER formerly of IOWA EM and long time Chief of Staff in Iowa EM now runs it. Iowa of course frequently having major floods like 1993, 1996, and almost every 4 years is notorious among flood plain managers for talking the talk on mitigation and flood plain management, getting federal bucks, and then doing nothing about it. In other words Iowans know how valuable Iowa is in Presidential politics and are skilled at manipulating Uncle Sugar.
Well now the Banking Committees charged with reforming the NFIP have been given a nod by FEMA and DHS leadership that it is okay to move these complex long term programs out of DHS and FEMA.
The disaster types that have never really gotten the NFIP or mitigation will be delighted since their hearts and heads never were really into either effort. In particular since both programs are designed to reduce disaster outlays and prevention, protection, and mitigation is the last thing on the minds of those running one of the federal government’s most accessible ATM ops.
This is the season of OMB budget passbacks. Perhaps the last OBAMA budget submission ever. The administration now understands that the current system of GSE’s and housing is broken with over 85% of all mortgagees on single family housing held by FANNIE and FREDDIE and FHA (HUD) are the only players in town and all need reform badly. Expect new housing arrangements to be a feature on display in the Obama 2013 budget proposal released in February. NFIP insurance aspects could be implicated with mapping going to the scientists and engineers at NOAA. They get “it” and neither Napolitano, Fugate, or Miller do. None of those of course have any insurance background either.
For a discussion of mitigation see pages 71-77 of the below:
FEMA Transition Binder, for the 2009 Presidential Administration Transition
Too bad the leadership of DHS does not get the NFIP and MITIGATION as they will be a big loss IMO.
Of course when Senator Lieberman departs in 2013 from the Senate maybe the rest of DHS will follow. Kind of interesting that the first leak in the dyke might be a flood.
And where is MITIGATION defined?