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Critical Facility

The purpose of this page is to define critical facilities, a commonly used term in floodplain management.


For some activities and facilities, even a slight chance of flooding is too great a threat. Typical critical facilities include hospitals, fire stations, police stations, storage of critical records, and similar facilities. These facilities should be given special consideration when formulating regulatory alternatives and floodplain management plans. A critical facility should not be located in a floodplain if at all possible. If a critical facility must be located in a floodplain it should be provided a higher level of protection so that it can continue to function and provide services after the flood. Communities should develop emergency plans to continue to provide these services during the flood.

Under Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, Federal agencies funding and/or permitting critical facilities are required to avoid the 0.2 percent (500-year) floodplain or protect the facilities to the 0.2 percent chance flood level.

Other Applicable National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Regulations


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Special Topic Resources

  • CRS Credit for Higher Regulatory Standards - Protection for Critical Facilities (FEMA 430)
Last Updated: 
07/24/2019 - 14:30