All levels of government have a responsibility to protect citizens and property from flooding. Under the National Flood Insurance Program, the State and FEMA's role include:
The State Role
Each state has designated an NFIP State Coordinating Agency as a point of contact for the National Flood Insurance Program. Many states have adopted floodplain management statutes and regulations and have established and funded their own floodplain management programs. In addition, FEMA offers funding to states to provide technical assistance to communities on the flood insurance program requirements.
FEMA administers the NFIP through its 10 Regional Offices and its Mitigation Division at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, DC. FEMA staff provide extensive technical assistance and training through workshops, visits, and other contacts with community officials. In addition, FEMA staff provide technical assistance to property owners, builders and contractors, architects and engineers, surveyors, and other NFIP constituents on NFIP requirements and mitigation measures. FEMA also has extensive publications on the NFIP, including detailed guidance on mitigation measures that can minimize or eliminate future flood damages.
FEMA staff also provide technical assistance and training to other federal agencies through consultation, as established in Executive Order 11988: Floodplain Management. This consultation may take the form of reviewing agency implementing procedures, obtaining and using maps and flood data, understanding the 8-step process, determining whether a particular action is a critical action, or providing guidance on NFIP requirements that protect buildings and other development.
Federal Flood Risk Management Standard
The Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) is a flood standard that aims to build a more resilient future. The FFRMS was established to encourage federal agencies to consider and manage current and future flood risks in order to build a more resilient nation. It requires agencies to prepare for and protect federally funded buildings and projects from flood risks.
Learn More About the FFRMS
Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force
The Federal Interagency Floodplain Management (FIFM) Task Force was authorized and established by Congress in 1975. The purpose of the Task Force is to carry out the responsibility of the President to prepare for the Congress proposals necessary for a Unified National Program for Floodplain Management.
See the Task Force Members and Work Plan
FEMA's Floodplain Management follows directives set by the Executive Office.
Executive Order 11988: Floodplain Management
Executive Order 11988 requires federal agencies to avoid to the extent possible the long and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of flood plains and to avoid direct and indirect support of floodplain development wherever there is a practicable alternative.
Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, 1977
Executive Order 11990 aims to "minimize the destruction, loss or degradation of wetlands and to preserve and enhance the natural and beneficial values of wetlands." To meet these objectives, the Order requires federal agencies, in planning their actions, to consider alternatives to wetland sites and limit potential damage if an activity affecting a wetland cannot be avoided.
Executive Order 13690: Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS)
Executive Order 13690 established the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). EO 13690 amended EO 11988, signed in 1977, which directed federal agencies to provide leadership in carrying out federal activities by reducing: 1) Loss of Human Life and Property; and 2) Loss of Natural Floodplain Values. EO 13690 is a resilience standard that requires agencies to not only build higher, but also more resiliently through natural systems, ecosystem processes, and nature-based approaches.