National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) &
the Community Rating System (CRS)
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Community Rating System
Since 1968 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has administered the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which offers federally backed insurance money to communities that agree to adopt and enforce minimum standards for flood plain management to reduce future flood damage. In 1991, the NFIP implemented the Community Rating System (CRS) for encouraging and recognizing community flood plain management activities that "exceed" these minimum NFIP standards. Today more than 900 communities across the nation participate in CRS, including Palm Beach County and several of its municipalities. Palm Beach County joined the CRS in the Fall of 1991.
As an incentive and reward for participation, the flood insurance rates of residents in CRS communities may be reduced by up to 45% to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from activities that meet CRS's three goals: reducing flood losses, facilitating accurate insurance ratings, and promoting the awareness of flood insurance.
Communities can earn points in as many as 18 different creditable activity areas grouped into four areas of emphasis: promoting public awareness, reduction of flood damage, improved mapping and regulations; and enhanced flood preparedness. Based on the number of points earned, each CRS community is ranked in one of ten classes (with Class 1 requiring the most points). In turn, a community's class rating determines the amount of flood premium reduction its residents are eligible to receive. Communities are encouraged to improve their class ratings. Property owners residing within a Special Flood Hazard Area, an area subject to the one percent chance a year, may qualify for anywhere between 5% and 45% discount. Property owners outside the Special Flood Hazard Area qualify for a standard discount of 5%.
Does your Community Participate in CRS?
Currently, 29 of the 39 municipalities and unincorporated Palm Beach County participate in the CRS. The chart below lists participating communities, their current class rating, and the percentage of NFIP premium discounts residents living in the Special Flood Hazard Area receive as of October 2020.
Participating CRS Communities
Number||Community Name||CRS Entry Date||Current
Effective Date||CRS Class Rating||% Discount for
|120195||Boca Raton, City
|120196||Boynton Beach, City
|120198||Cloud Lake, Town
|125102||Delray Beach, City
|120200||Glen Ridge, Town
|125109||Gulf Stream, Town
|125111||Highland Beach, Town
|120208||Juno Beach, Town
|125119||Jupiter, Town of ||10/1/1994||5/1/2015||5||25|
|120211||Lake Clarke Shores,
Town of ||10/1/1994||10/1/2009||8||10|
|120212||Lake Park, Town
|120213||Lake Worth, City
|120214||Lantana, Town of ||10/1/1994||10/1/2020||8||10|
|120216||Mangonia Park, Town
|120217||North Palm Beach,
Village of ||10/1/1994||10/1/2020||5||25|
|125134||Ocean Ridge, Town
|120220||Palm Beach, Town
|120221||Palm Beach Gardens,
City of ||10/1/2003||5/1/2014||10||0|
|125137||Palm Beach Shores,
Town of ||10/1/1994||5/1/2019||7||15|
|120223||Palm Springs, Village
|125142||Riviera Beach, City
|120225||Royal Palm Beach,
|120227||South Palm Beach,
Town of ||10/1/1993||10/1/2020||8||10|
|120229||West Palm Beach, City
Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA)
The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program is a mitigation initiative administered by FEMA through the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). The purpose is to help communities identify and implement measures to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damages.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency contributes up to 75% of eligible mitigation costs. The remaining 25% must come from non-federal sources.
Examples of flood mitigation projects that might qualify for FMA funding assistance include:
- Elevation of flood prone structures
- Relocation of flood prone structures
- Demolition (with or without rebuilding at higher elevation)
- Various flood proofing measures.
If you have been notified that your property is on the NFIP Repetitive Loss list, you may qualify for financial assistance through the FMA program. Please note, this grant takes approximately 18 months from application to funding award, so it is not a quick fix for a previously identified problem. Also, this grant can only be awarded to local governments, non-profits, and private non-profits (individual homeowners can not apply for this grant directly). This means you must work with your municipality or a non-profit organization to ascertain if they will submit your project on your behalf, and you will be responsible for the full 25% non-Federal share of the project. To find out more information on this program, contact the Mitigation Coordinator at the Division of Emergency Management at 561-712-6481.
Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS)
The Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) is a unified, coordinated effort among County and municipal governments to reduce the county's vulnerability to the impacts of identified natural and man-made hazards. Among its primary missions, the Strategy serves as a basis for comprehensive mitigation planning, project identification and prioritization, and provides assistance to project sponsors in securing and allocating available federal, state, local and other disaster mitigation assistance funds.
LMS projects cover a range of topics including major drainage improvement projects, hardening of public structures, Emergency Operation Center purchases, etc.
At any particular time, the LMS has approximately 100 community mitigation projects on its Prioritized Project List. While some of these projects may eventually be self-funded by sponsoring communities, many will require outside financial assistance in order to be completed. By virtue of being on the LMS Prioritized Project List, each project potentially qualifies for funding assistance consideration though a variety of mitigation assistance programs. Projects typically involve a combination of outside and local funding in line with matching guidelines established by the assistance program.
The LMS closely adheres to guidelines and criteria provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management.
A Steering Committee, made up of 15 representatives of county and municipal government, not-for-profit organizations and the private sector, serves as the policy body and advises and assists in the administration and oversight of LMS activities and initiatives. A Flood Mitigation Technical Advisory Committee, comprised of public and private sector engineers and other flood experts, is charged with assessing flood risks and developing strategies and projects to reduce future losses. The committee focuses on flood basins without regard to jurisdictional boundaries and involves community interests as project recommendations are developed.
A seven person Evaluation Panel comprised of combination of LMS Steering Committee members and community agency representatives is charged with reviewing and scoring projects as a basis for prioritization.
A Subcommittee of the LMS serves as the outreach, education and mutual assistance arm of the Community Rating System, focusing on flood awareness and education.
The Mitigation Coordinator in the Planning Section of Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management provides administrative and technical support to the LMS and serves as the primary liaison with state and federal offices on LMS matters.
The LMS Steering Committee meets quarterly to adopt updated prioritized project lists, discuss relevant mitigation issues, and plan and evaluate community initiatives and strategies. These meetings are open to the public. Schedules, agendas and meeting summaries can be obtained by calling 561-712-6481.
For More Information
A detailed description of the Palm Beach County's LMS program and the current Prioritized Project List can be found at http://discover.pbcgov.org/publicsafety/dem/Sections/Planning-Local-Mitigation-Strategy.aspx.
LMS Steering Committee contact information can be obtained by calling 561-712-6481.