Update to NMB hazard mitigation plan could impact your safety an - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Update to NMB hazard mitigation plan could impact your safety and wallet

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The city of North Myrtle Beach will be holding a public meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss updating its hazard mitigation plan.

This plan gives the city guidelines to help minimize the severity of any impact a natural disaster might have on the city. City leaders are looking for the input from home and property owners in North Myrtle Beach, because the plan directly impacts your safety, and your wallet.

The city’s spokesman, Pat Dowling, says the key to understanding this 200-page report is that there is a community rating system through FEMA that ranks a city on how prepared it is to handle a flood event. And this rank determines if home and property owners get any discount on flood insurance premiums.

The city of North Myrtle Beach has a class rank of six. The ranks range from one to ten. A class ten would not provide any discounts. A class one would translate to the biggest discount allowed by the federal government.

"Currently we are at a CRS Class Rating of six, which means they get a 20 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums,” says Dowling. “And city-wide, that translates to a discount of $1.2 million."

City leaders need to update this plan and keep it in place if you want any chance at keeping that discount. Dowling warns that if you do not think this hazard mitigation plan impacts you, you should rethink that. The discount may not seem like much now, but a federal rate hike on the premiums is set to kick in over the next several years. "We're talking about huge hikes,” says Dowling. “We're not talking about a couple hundred dollars. In some cases, we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars over the next five years or so."

If you want to go through the plan for yourself before the meeting Thursday, the draft is posted on the city's website (Warning: Very large PDF file). That public meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Training Room at North Myrtle Beach City Hall.

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