Federal Flood Insurance Program Could Lapse and Jeopardize Home Sales

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is facing a short-term lapse and any home buyers who require federal flood insurance are encouraged to move any June closings up to May 31 if possible.

The NFIP is due to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 31. The Senate has approved two bills to extend the program. The first bill is part of a disaster relief legislative package that would extend the NFIP through Sept. 30. The second bill is a stand-alone measure that provides for a two-week extension.

With Congress out of session this week for the Memorial Day recess, it appears the House will fail to gain a unanimous consent on a voice vote for the two-week extension. The House has tried twice to gain unanimous consent but was blocked by Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.).

This could result in a short-term shutdown of the NFIP until Congress returns in the first week of June.

Congress requires all properties within the 100-year floodplain that are purchased with a federally backed mortgage to carry flood insurance. So a short-term shutdown means that insurers and insurance agents cannot sell or renew flood insurance policies backed by the program because of a lack of government funding. This means that new or renewing federal flood insurance policies will not be written during the lapse in the program.

Read More

Disaster Preparedness Must Focus on Upgrading Older Homes and Infrastructure

Disaster Preparedness Must Focus on Upgrading Older Homes and Infrastructure

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on Congress to focus on improving the older homes, structures and infrastructure that are less resilient to natural disasters because they were built when there were no national model codes in existence or constructed following codes that are now outdated.

“Sound building codes are already in place in most communities and they are doing their job,” said Randy Noel, NAHB immediate past chairman and a home builder and developer from LaPlace, La.

Testifying at a House hearing on disaster preparedness, Noel said that calling for newer and more stringent building codes to ease damages caused by natural disasters would do little to ease disaster mitigation efforts in vulnerable communities, increase housing costs, and ignore the root of the problem.

“Requiring the use of ‘latest published editions’ of certain codes or standards is too prescriptive,” said Noel. “New construction is built to more stringent codes and standards and is more resilient than older housing – a fact that FEMA and others have reported numerous times.”

What became readily apparent in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane season in 2017 and the California wildfires of last year is that properties that suffered the most damage were largely older housing stock. One hundred and thirty million homes out of the nation’s housing stock of 137 million were built before 2010, and therefore not subject to the modern building codes that are now in effect.

Read More


By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

As a full-time Certified Contractor Business Coach for the last twenty-five years, I have been asked so many times, “How much does your training cost?” I have learned to reply, “Would “no charge” be too much?”

Training is not a cost. It’s an investment. It really doesn’t matter what we pay for an investment. What’s relevant is what we get in return. One of the best ways to jeopardize a company’s future in today’s world and increase the probability of troubled times is to look at training as a cost and pay the price of not training or provide substandard training that operates only as a Band-Aid for the training requirements. The most expensive training is often for the lowest bidder that does not deliver training that helps people to make changes to give an adequate return on the training dollars spent. Ineffective, inexperienced training at any cost is not a bargain.

It’s a simple principle. An organization’s staff is where they are currently, in terms of competence and success, in direct relationship to what they know and how well they apply what they know. The more we learn and the more we apply what we learn, the greater our success and thereby, the company’s success will been.

Some like to quantify the results from training. Here’s a good example. A person being paid $50,000 per year who is wasting just one hour per day is costing the company $6,250 per year (excluding benefits, overhead, opportunity costs, etc.). If that person can learn how to re-capture just one productive hour per day, that translates into a payback to the organization of $6,250 per year. If there is a crew of 25 people involved in the same training and they all receive a similar benefit, the return to the organization is $156,250 per year. (And this does not include other benefits to the organization such as profitability, reduced turnover, improved morale, enhanced teamwork, better customer service, greater creativity, etc.) Over five years, the payback is $781,250. What should an organization invest to achieve that return and payback?

Many find it difficult to get the time for training. This is another false economy. (They are so busy doing it the wrong way that they cannot take out a little time to figure out how to do it the right way.) When someone says they cannot afford to take time to go to training I know they are looking at that training as an “expense” and not as an “investment”.

Not so many years ago, training, beyond showing employees the basics of doing their job, was an option for most organizations. Today it is no longer an option. If any of us continues to do what we do the same way, without improvement, within five years many of us and our companies might become obsolete. Why? Because our competitors are helping their people to become more effective through training. If we look closely at the GC’s and Subs that are doing well in the long run, they almost always have in place a well thought out and executed training program for their people. They understand that the price for not training is the real expense of training.

Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
Certified Contractor Business Coach
Productivity Institute
127 Jefferson St.
Stratford, CT 06615
(203) 386-8062
(800) 969-3773

Email: ctsem@msn.com

Visit Our Time Management Supersite: http://www.balancetime.com

Follow me on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/timeguy

Follow me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/timemanagement Copyright 2019