When it comes to flood insurance, disaster loans, and disaster grants. Being a member of the National Flood Insurance Program plays a vital role. We want to first discuss what is available by being a member of this program. Then we want to talk about the different statuses of the program. Then finally we want to discuss where you can find information your communities status.

 

Membership

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Being a member of the National Flood Insurance Program is not taken lightly. There are many flood plain management requirements that have to be followed in order to stay in the program. It can also be costly for smaller programs which is many reasons why many can not afford to participate.

So let's talk about what is available when you are a member of the National Flood Insurance Program. By being a member of the program it opens up the opportunity for

  1. Disaster assistance
  2. Disaster grants
  3. Disaster loans
  4. Flood insurance

 

Let's look at disaster assistance. Whether we are are discussing public or individual disaster assistance both are only available if you are a participating member of the National Flood Insurance Program. Public disaster assistance helps to reimburse communities to get public facilities repaired or replaced after a disaster.

Individual disaster assistance can help put residents into temporary housing after a disaster. It can also help provide medical resources that may not normally be available.

Stopping disasters like flooding from occurring again in the future is crucial for disaster recovery. There are some areas that are more prone to flood than others. This is one thing that Houston Texas has taught us over the last few years. When these disasters occur things like hazard mitigation grants can be made available to help buy out flood prone properties. This can help minimize damages in the future. These grants can also help pay for other projects that will help prevent communities from flooding in the future.

While grants and disaster assistance are not always available disaster loans can be a great resource as well. These are normally offered through the Small Business Administration. While they have a few restrictions one of the main ones is that the community must be a participating member.

One of the most important benefits of being a member of the National Flood Insurance Program is the availability of flood insurance for property owners. If a community is not a participating community then property owners may not have any flood insurance available. If they are a participating member they may have preferred and standard rates available based on the program status.

 

So what are the different statuses for a participating community. When it comes to the National Flood Insurance Program, there are tow types of status

  1. Emergency status
  2. Regular program

 

The Emergency Program is the initial phase of a community''s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if no flood hazard information is available or the community has a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM), but no Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). A limited amount of flood insurance coverage at less than actuarial rates is available for all residents of the community.

The community is required to adopt minimum floodplain management standards to control future use of its floodplains. Communities are converted to the Regular Program upon completion of a Flood Insurance Study and issuance of a FIRM or a determination that the community has no special flood areas.

So what flood insurance options are available to communities in the emergency program. As mentioned above some flood insurance is available to all property owners. However while in the emergency program preferred rated policies are not available. Below is a list of different coverages available in the emergency and regular program for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Building Coverage Emergency Program Regular Program
Single Family Dwelling $35,000 $250,000
2-4 family dwelling $35,000 $250,000
Other residential $100,000 $250,000
Non residential $100,000 $500,000
Contents Coverage    
Non Residential $100,000 $500,000
Residential $10,000 $100,000

 

 

 

There are alot of communities that are not a member of the National Flood Insurance Program. Below is a list that shows the number of communities per state.

  1. Alabama-61
  2. Alaska- 4
  3. Arizona- 2
  4. Arkansas- 89
  5. California- 5
  6. Colorado- 19
  7. Connecticut- 0
  8. Delaware- 3
  9. Flordia- 9
  10. Georgia-79
  11. Hawaii- 0
  12. Idaho-12
  13. Illinois- 121
  14. Indina- 71
  15. Iowa- 137
  16. Kansas- 85
  17. Kentucky-50
  18. Louisiana- 27
  19. Maryland-1
  20. Maine-27
  21. Massachusetts- 9
  22. Michigan-162
  23. Minnesota- 86
  24. Mississippi- 35
  25. Missouri-172
  26. Montana-9
  27. Nebraska-96
  28. Nevada-0
  29. New Hampshire-12
  30. New Jersey-6
  31. New Mexico-10
  32. New York-8
  33. North Carolina- 28
  34. North Dakota- 26
  35. Ohio-98
  36. Oklahoma-117
  37. Oregon-2
  38. Pennsylvania-43
  39. Rhode Island-0
  40. South Carolina- 30
  41. South Dakota-42
  42. Tennessee- 10
  43. Texas-135
  44. Utah-25
  45. Vermont-22
  46. Virginia-18
  47. Washington-15
  48. West Virginia-5
  49. Wisconsin-60
  50. Wyoming-13

There may also be some private flood insurance options available if your community does not participate they generally are limited because of limited data.

So now we have talked about the benefits of being part of the program and the different programs available, how do you find the status of your community.

 

Community Status Book

 

open book

FEMA has what is called a community status book. This book has alot of important information in it. It lists the following

  1. Community name
  2. County
  3. Initial flood hazard boundary map effective date
  4. Initial flood insurance rate map effective date
  5. Current effective map date
  6. Regular and Emergency program date
  7. If a community is tribal or not
  8. Total in flood program
  9. Total in emergency program
  10. Total in regular program
  11. Total In Regular Program with No Special Flood Hazard
  12. Total In Regular Program But Minimally Flood Prone.
  13. Total suspended from the regular program
  14. Total suspended from the emergency program
  15. Communities not in the program

 

 

So this status book holds some very important information which is important for understanding exactly what resources are available for you.

Let's discuss what some of the abbreviations for the program mean.

(E) Indicates Entry In Emergency Program

NSFHA-No Special Flood Hazard Area - All Zone C

(>) Date of Current Effective Map is after the Date of This Report

N/A -Not Applicable At This Time

(S)- Suspended community

(W) Withdrawn community

(M) No Elevation Determined - All Zone A, C and X

(L)- Original FIRM by Letter - All Zone A, C and X

 

When reviewing this report the things you want to pay close attention to are communities that are either suspended or withdrawn. These are communities that could pose a challenge with flood prevention resources and affordable flood insurance options for the community.

If you have further questions about this communities you can visit our website. You can also check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com