FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) & the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program)
FEMA administers the NFIP. Since 1968, FEMA’s NFIP has been successful in assisting flood victims get back on their feet. The NFIP follows regulations aimed to reduce flood losses and offers reasonably priced flood insurance to communities that comply with minimum standards of Floodplain Management (FPM). Therefore participation in the NFIP is vital.
The NFIP has developed flood risk data, found within the FIS (Flood Insurance Study) and the associated FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map), for each participating community.
The NFIP CRS (Community Rating System):
In 1990, the NFIP implemented the CRS as a voluntary incentive program that recognizes community FPM activities that exceed the minimum NFIP regulations. The NFIP CRS recognizes community efforts beyond those minimum standards by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community’s property owners. The goals of the CRS are: flood loss reduction, facilitating an accurate insurance rating, and promoting awareness of flood hazards and insurance.
Implementation of FPM activities that exceed the minimum NFIP regulations along with meeting the three goals of the CRS is what accumulates the required credit points to obtain this reduced flood insurance premium.
The SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area):
ALL locations are subject to flood risk. Locations subject to flood risk are either in a low, moderate, or high risk area. It is vital to be aware of the flood risk in order to preserve life and property. Land areas that are at high flood risk are called the SFHA. The FIS and the FIRM identify the SFHA within a community.
To ensure that structures will be protected from flood damage, ALL development within the SFHA is required to be regulated. Structural Filling and similar projects require a permit and are prohibited in certain areas. Existing structures Substantially Damaged by flood (equal or exceed 50% of the market value) that are located in the SFHA must be elevated to the BFE (Base Flood Elevation) or above, BEFORE they are repaired.
FEMA Technical Bulletins
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 1: Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning the requirement for openings in below-Base Flood Elevation foundation walls for buildings located in Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AR, AO, and AH.
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 2: Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning the required use of flood damage-resistant construction materials for building components located below the Base Flood Elevation in Special Flood Hazard Areas (both A and V Zones).
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 3: Non-Residential Floodproofing — Requirements and Certification (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning watertight construction and the required certification for floodproofed non-residential buildings in Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AR, AO, and AH whose lowest floors are below the Base Flood Elevation.
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 4: Elevator Installation (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning the installation of elevators below the Base Flood Elevation in Special Flood Hazard Areas (both A and V Zones).
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 5: Free-of-Obstruction Requirements (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning obstructions to flood waters below elevated buildings and on building sites in Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V, VE, and V1-V30).
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 9: Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls Below Elevated Coastal Buildings (PDF)
Provides guidance on the NFIP regulations concerning the design and construction of breakaway walls beneath elevated buildings in Coastal High Hazard Areas (Zones V, VE, and VI-V30).
- FEMA Technical Bulletin 11: Crawlspace Construction for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (PDF)
Provides interim guidance on minimum NFIP requirements as well as best practices for crawlspace construction in the Special Flood Hazard Area.
- Flood Cleanup Factsheet
- Insurance Agent’s Lowest Floor Guide
- Realtor Flood Risk and Flood Insurance Guide