Protection from Hurricane Season and High-Cost FEMA-Mandated Insurance Premiums

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Value-Engineered levee projects save cities and counties millions by avoiding FEMA-mandated insurance using ShoreGuard flood protection solutions. From coast to coast communities slash insurance premiums by upgrading levees and flood walls using Crane Material International's cost-effective, sustainable sheet piling.

Flood Solutions Using Synthetic Sheet Piling

Reduce Cost of Flood Insurance with ShoreGuard Sheet Piling.

With the current strain on government budgets at all levels and the continuation of FEMA remapping, the issue of finding cost-effective solutions for protection from hurricanes and costly FEMA-mandated insurance will only get bigger.

As recently reported in newspapers such as the Charleston, SC Post Courier and the San Francisco Examiner, the protection of communities across the nation from hurricane season and FEMA-mandated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) insurance is an increasing topic of concern. As FEMA nationwide remapping continues, many municipalities are being hit with SFHA insurance premiums, which are unaffordable to many residents. However, some cities and counties are fighting back by upgrading levees and flood walls adjacent to their communities which can eliminate the SFHA designation by FEMA and provide Hurricane protection.

One homeowner’s association in South Carolina recently lowered their premiums by over 3000% from $425,000 per year to $14,000 per year by building a sheet pile flood wall. It is similar cases of drastic savings that are motivating residents to explore affordable, alternative solutions. While facing an SFHA designation by FEMA, the City of Redwood City in the San Francisco Bay Area installed thousands of feet of ShoreGuard Sheet Piling to raise the effective height of their levee. The increased protection from the sustainable and environmentally friendly vinyl sheet piling will save millions of dollars in future insurance premiums. After completing similar flood protection with vinyl sheet piling, the neighboring city of San Mateo on June 1, 2012 was given the official word from FEMA that nearly 8,000 homes would now be dropped from the SFHA mandate.

Although the SFHA insurance issue is nationwide, the Bay Area has long been a leader in seeking solutions to FEMA related flood problems. The City of Palo Alto avoided the special insurance by completing improvements to the Matadero Creek Channel in 2004 which included a section of vinyl sheet piling wall. And since 2001, San Francisco International Airport has installed over a mile of vinyl sheet piling cantilevered flood wall protecting its runways from the rising waters of the bay.

Ben Brown, an engineer with Crane Materials International, the manufacturer of ShoreGuard™, comments that there are many reasons engineers choose their product for flood and hurricane protection. He states that the inherent strength of corrugated sheet piling, the sustainable low-carbon footprint nature of the product and the patented I-BEAM™ interlock system, which dramatically increases the stiffness and reliability of the locks are at the top of the list. Brown adds that ShoreGuard has developed a patented wide-body profile specifically designed for flood walls and levees, which substantially increases the level of seepage protection and installation speed. Furthermore, Brown comments that additional freeboard gained using sheet piling usually precludes the need for solid fill to be added on top of the levy, which can cause serious damage to wildlife habitats and compromise existing drainage structures. As an added bonus sheet piling seepage structures on levees can also help minimize rodent damage. With the current strain on government budgets at all levels and the continuation of FEMA remapping, the issue of finding cost-effective solutions for protection from hurricanes and costly FEMA-mandated insurance will only get bigger.


Crane Materials International (CMI) is part of the Crane Group which was founded in 1947. This family owned business is one of the largest manufacturing organizations in North America and the leader in developing new technologies for construction materials. In addition to being the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic and composite pilings, CMI can also provide proprietary installation equipment, product engineering assistance and a team of piling experts to support every aspect of your project.

For assistance with your next project, or to speak with piling expert in your area, visit, or call us, toll free, at 1-866-709-0132.

Crane Materials International: Revolutionizing the Industries We Serve.

ShoreGuard and UltraComposite are registered trademarks.

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