Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for a redrawing of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's food zones in New York City, as two-thirds of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy lay outside its parameters, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"The yardstick has changed, and so must we," Bloomberg said on Thursday morning, according to the paper. "FEMA is currently in the process of updating their maps, and those maps will guide us in setting new construction requirements."
FEMA’s flood zone maps are used to set building and zoning codes, as well as for insurance purposes – homeowners looking to buy in high-risk flood zones are required to buy federal flood insurance.
Bloomberg is looking to make other changes to ensure that a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Sandy doesn’t affect the city so hard again. Amongst them are bolstering the areas that will designated as “Zone A,” the most low-lying areas of the city that are evacuated first. The mayor also called for better protection of infrastructure like the electricity network.
"Sandy surged beyond Zone A – into Gerritsen Beach, into Howard Beach and into East Williamsburg," Bloomberg said, according to the Journal. "So, now we'll re-examine the evacuation zones and update them."
And though the idea of building a sea wall has been floated by many experts and officials – like Gov. Andrew Cuomo – Bloomberg officially rejected the idea as too expensive and “not realistic.”