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Terms frequently used by FEMA. In a few instances, standard insurance industry terms have been added for additional focus and emphasis.
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Term: Waiting Period

The time between the date of application and the policy effective date.

Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Walled and Roofed

A building that has two or more exterior rigid walls and a fully secured roof and that is affixed to a permanent site.

Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Wave Height Adjustment

A measurement that is added to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for V Zones shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) published prior to 1981. For coastal communities, the BFE shown on FIRMs published prior to 1981 are stillwater elevations, which include only the effects of tide and storm surge and not the height of wind-generated waves.

Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Any weapon or device intended or with capability to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people.

Glossary Section: AFGP - Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program
Term: Wellness and Fitness Programs

Activities promoting the general health and physical well-being of an individual.

Glossary Section: AFGP - Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program
Term: Wrap-Around Services

The delivery of infrastructure and additional essential services to address disaster-related needs of affected residents living in temporary housing sites. These services go beyond the physical need for housing or political subdivision of a State and typically include basic social services and access to utilities, transportation, grocery stores, and medical and employment facilities.

Glossary Section: NDHS - National Disaster Housing Strategy
Term: Write Your Own (WYO) Program

A cooperative undertaking of the insurance industry and FEMA begun in October 1983. The Write Your Own (WYO) Program operates within the context of the NFIP and involves private insurance carriers who issue and service NFIP policies.

Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Whole Community

Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it calls for the involvement of everyone — not just the government — in preparedness efforts. By working together, everyone can help keep the nation safe from harm and help keep it resilient when struck by hazards, such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and pandemics.

Whole Community includes:

  • Individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs
  • Businesses
  • Faith-based and community organizations
  • Nonprofit groups
  • Schools and academia
  • Media outlets
  • All levels of government, including state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal partners

The phrase “whole community” appears a lot in preparedness materials, as it is one of the guiding principles. It means two things:

  1. Involving people in the development of national preparedness documents.
  2. Ensuring their roles and responsibilities are reflected in the content of the materials.
Glossary Section:
Term: Wet Floodproofing

Wet Floodproofing includes permanent or contingent measures applied to a structure or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding while allowing floodwaters to enter the structure or area. Generally, this includes properly anchoring the structure, using flood resistent materials below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), protection of mechanical and utility equipment, and use of openings or breakaway walls.

Application of wet floodproofing as a flood protection technique under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is limited to enclosures below elevated residential and non-residential structures and to accessory and agricultural structures that have been issued variances by the community. See enclosure, accessory structure and agricultural structure.

National Flood Insurance Program Requirements

  • IS-9 Managing Floodplain Development Through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (page 3-33)
  • Wet Floodproofing Requirements (FIA-TB-7)
Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Watercourse

A watercourse means only the channel and banks of an identifiable watercourse, and not the adjoining floodplain areas. The flood carrying capacity of a watercourse refers to the flood carrying capacity of the channel (except in the case of alluvial fans, where a channel is not typically defined).


Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program
Term: Water Systems

See Utilities.

Glossary Section: NFIP - National Flood Insurance Program

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