Frequently Asked Questions


What is floodplain management?
Floodplain management consists of corrective and preventive measures that reduce the risk of flood damage. Measures include, but are not limited to, zoning, subdivision, or building requirements; special-purpose floodplain ordinances; mitigation and emergency preparedness plans; and flood-control works.  More information on floodplain management and the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can be found on FEMA’s NFIP Floodplain Management page.
Additionally, when communities enact floodplain management measures that exceed NFIP requirements, their policyholders can automatically receive a discount on their flood insurance premiums through the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS) program – to learn more, visit the FEMA CRS Resource Center.
What is the role of the community when it comes to flood risk?
When a community decides to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the community must adopt and enforce minimum floodplain management standards. NFIP floodplain management requirements are designed to prevent new development from increasing flood risk and to protect new and existing buildings from anticipated flood events.
Community officials also have an important role in communicating flood risk to their residents.
Is there any way to obtain a community-wide discount on the cost of flood insurance premiums?
Yes. All communities in the NFIP adopt and enforce minimum standards for managing construction and development in their Special Flood Hazard Areas. When communities join the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS), their policyholders receive a discount on flood insurance premiums when additional floodplain management activities are performed that result in a higher level of safety and protection for their citizens. The CRS recognizes communities for their additional efforts to (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. For information about joining the CRS, visit the FEMA CRS Resource Center.
Where can I find information about FEMA's grant program for hazard mitigation assistance?
Visit FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance webpage for information on the different hazard mitigation assistance programs available through FEMA. Under these assistance programs, your community may be eligible for funding to implement eligible mitigation activities to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future damages.
What is the role of the community in the FIRM update process?
The community plays an important role throughout the FIRM update process. At the beginning of the process, FEMA meets with local officials to discuss the current flood risk present in the community and to ensure that any existing information available through the community is included in the new FIRM and FIS report. When the preliminary FIRM is released, communities have the right and the responsibility to provide constructive technical feedback to ensure that the FIRM is as accurate as possible. Communities also need to communicate information regarding the map changes to residents.