Maintaining minimum floodplain management standards and promoting higher standards usually starts at the state level. States can legislate higher floodplain management standards such as 1- or 2-foot freeboard. In fact, approximately 26 states have some sort of freeboard requirement. Through community visits and contacts, states can help communities maintain eligibility, continually promote the adoption of higher standards, help identify mitigation projects that may qualify for grants and encourage proactive community planning to include increasing open space in floodplains.
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a program that rewards participating communities that go beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements. Communities can earn credits for mitigation and outreach activities that result in a safer, more resilient community and receive discounts (up to 45 percent) on flood insurance premiums for property owners. States should strongly encourage communities not only to join but to improve their current CRS rating.
Mitigating to higher standards after a claim may also result in lower flood insurance premiums. Under NFIP's Pricing Approach (RR 2.0), prior claims history will be used as a rating variable and applied when a RR 2.0-rated policy renews after filing the first claim. Applying Prior Claims History Reset describes how a policyholder can reset the structure’s prior claims history to zero based on specific mitigation criteria certified by the community.
States should actively use the Community Assistance Program – State Support Services Element (CAP-SSSE) program which offers funding for states to provide technical assistance to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) communities and to evaluate community performance in implementing NFIP floodplain management activities. Funding is provided for ordinance assistance, community visits and contacts, outreach, training, mapping coordination and community disaster response assistance.
States are valuable resources to communities and can provide information on federal funding opportunities and coordinate with other state agencies. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants can provide funding either directly or through states for mitigation projects, both before and after disasters.
States should encourage community floodplain managers to participate in training opportunities offered by CAP-SSSE, the Emergency Management Institute, the Association of State Floodplain Managers or their state chapters and other related organizations.
By encouraging the adoption and continual enforcement of higher floodplain management standards, states can help create safer, stronger and more resilient communities.
Flood Risk Disclosure
Disclosing flood risk during real estate transactions is a timely and effective way to raise awareness and drive risk-informed decisions. In fact, early analyses at the state level show stronger flood risk disclosure requirements are associated with higher residential flood insurance penetration rates.
With this insight in mind, we created the State Flood Risk Disclosure resource to help states, tribes and territories develop or refine existing real estate disclosure laws and/or mandated disclosure forms to strengthen their flood risk disclosure mechanisms.
This resource is intended for use by technical flood risk experts and by elected and career officials responsible for legislative action at the state and territory level. Inside, you’ll find:
- A ranking of states and territories by the strength of their flood risk disclosure requirements
- Great form language from states with strong flood risk disclosure requirements that can easily be adopted by others
- Additional information on each state's flood risk disclosure efforts