May 17, 2022

Missouri SEMA team member selected for national floodplain management award

Karen McHugh, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Coordinator for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, has received national recognition as floodplain coordinator of the year.

McHugh received the Stacey Ricks Memorial NFIP State Coordinator of the Year award after being nominated by her fellow floodplain managers across the U.S. Nominations were then reviewed and the final selection was made by a panel convened at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters. FEMA’s Floodplain Management Division announced the award this month.

“We would like to extend our congratulations to Karen for this wonderful achievement,” FEMA Region 7 Mitigation Division Director Cathi Sanders said. “Karen has been a great partner for many years and has significantly helped in better preparing Missourians for the impacts of flooding.” 

SEMA’s Floodplain Management team works with state, federal and local partners to help communities protect residents and businesses against flooding. McHugh’s work has helped make the state a leader in floodplain management, with Missouri being nationally recognized as one of only 10 states qualified in the Advanced Tier of FEMA’s framework for management of federal funding to provide flood loss reduction measures. Currently, 681 Missouri communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

McHugh has been with SEMA’s Floodplain Management team since 2007, and has been Missouri’s NFIP Coordinator for more than five years, handling state floodplain development permit approvals, developing workshops for floodplain administrators, and evaluating all state development that impacts the Special Flood Hazard Area.

The award was recently renamed to recognize a former Mississippi NFIP Coordinator, the late Stacey Ricks. Ricks’ efforts and expertise in the field as a Certified Floodplain Manager made him a leader among floodplain professionals throughout the country.


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