Task 4: Community Capability Review

National Flood Insurance Program

Your community, after participating in the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), will be able to develop capabilities for carrying out flood mitigation actions. Your community’s mitigation plan should explain the involvement of each jurisdiction in the NFIP. The participating communities should also illustrate their continued compliance with the requirements of NFIP. Their mitigation plan needs to state more than their continued compliance with the NFIP. For example, each jurisdiction can explain its floodplain management program along with its continued compliance with the NFIP. You can get this information from the local floodplain administrator. See Worksheet 4.3 for important considerations when describing authorities and policies related to the NFIP and identifying actions to improve the existing program.

Those jurisdictions that are presently not participating in the NFIP, but have been issued a floodplain map by FEMA, may meet this requirement. They need to explain the reasons why their community does not participate in the NFIP.

NFIP participation is based on an accord between FEMA and communities. The NFIP has three basic components:
• Floodplain mapping: Participation in the NFIP requires the community to adopt the flood hazard maps to give the required data to manage floodplain management activities and to analyze new structures actuarially for flood insurance.
• Floodplain management: Participation in the NFIP requires the communities to adopt and implement minimum federal floodplain management directives that help mitigate the flooding effects on new and enhanced structures. To offer additional safety measures, the communities and states may include more preventive elements in their floodplain regulations.
• Flood insurance: Participation of community in the NFIP facilitates property owners to buy insurance as a protection against losses due to flood in lieu of community floodplain management directives that diminish future flood damages.

Existing plan updates should also fulfill the same requirements and describe any change in floodplain management programs.

The previous section (Types of Capabilities) identified four primary types of capabilities to achieve long-term risk reduction through mitigation planning: planning and regulatory, administrative and technical, financial and education and outreach. We use those same four types of capabilities (below) in describing how participation in the NFIP relates to a community’s capability to mitigate hazards.
1.) Planning and Regulatory
The plan may clarify the details of the acceptance and implementation of the floodplain management regulations by the community, for example, when the community participated in the NFIP, whether the floodplain regulations meets or surpasses basic requirements, and when the FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) became effective. You can provide an outline of the compliance history of your community such as the outcomes from the latest CAV (Community Assistance Visit). If relevant, you can also describe actions that contributed to the class rankings of your community in the CRS (Community Rating System).
2.) Administrative and Technical
The planning team can recognize the staff devoted to NFIP management in your community, for example, personnel for whom the NFIP is a secondary duty, or a dedicated floodplain administrator. Furthermore, the plan should explain the tasks accomplished by the staff to support the NFIP, for instance, building inspections and permit appraisals.
3.) Financial
The mitigation plan may have an outline of the number of policies, flood insurance coverage, and history of claims (such as recurring loss properties) all related to your community. Recurring loss properties are the structures insured by NFIP that have been frequently damaged by flooding. Make sure to include the numbers and types of recurring loss of properties in your community, as well as maps illustrating concentrations of recurring loss properties. To avail this information, the planning team may contact the SHMO (State Hazard Mitigation Officer) or the State NFIP Coordinator.
4.) Education and outreach
NFIP participation can also be explained through education or outreach initiatives with reference to the NFIP, for example, outreach on flood insurance availability or flood safe building activities.

In the mitigation plan, there is no need to describe specific actions in the mitigation strategy relating to NFIP compliance, though areas of improvement, if recognized, can develop into future mitigation activities. Participating communities need to execute additional activities that exceed the minimum requirements of the participation in NFIP, as explained in the CRS Coordinator’s Manual (FIA-15/2007).