What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program is a federal program created in 1968 to provide flood insurance to people who live in areas with the greatest risk of flooding, called Special Flood Hazard Areas. The program provides an alternative to disaster assistance and reduces the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. The program provides flood insurance, while at the same time encouraging the sensible management and use of floodplains to reduce flood damage.
The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners, provided their communities use the program's strategies for reducing flood risk, including adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary. However, flood insurance and many kinds of federal disaster assistance are not available in communities that do not participate in the program. Check with your local town hall or contact Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District to find out if your community participates in the NFIP.
NFIP Floodplain Maps
The NFIP floodplain maps represent an estimate of the risk of flooding in a certain area, and specifically show the extent of the floodplain affected by the base flood or “100-year flood”. This is the severity of flood that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year, and the base floodplain is called the Special Flood Hazard Area. Development in the SFHA is regulated by the local government. Check your community's flood hazard ordinance, or contact Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District to see these restrictions.
View floodplain maps for your area:
1. Read this tutorial (1 Mb) on obtaining Floodplain Insurance Rate Maps through FEMA’s FIRMette Desktop viewer. (Greene County FIRM index)
2. Visit www.msc.fema.gov to find your Floodplain Insurance Rate Map
NFIP Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
Reduce flood losses
Facilitate accurate insurance rating
Promote the awareness of flood insurance
For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5%; i.e., a Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
Mapping and Regulations
Flood Damage Reduction
Visit the CRS Resource Center to view documents that explain the CRS and provide all of the tools needed to apply for participation.