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<< Back to News List            Policy Matters! The October 2018 Edition >>

FEMA Releases New Bulletin Aligning Mitigation Planning and the Community Rating System
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Written by Amanda Sharma, MBA, MRLS, CFM - FEMA Headquarters Mitigation Planner/Analytics

FEMA's local mitigation planning and the CRS program's Activity 510 Floodplain Management Planning are aimed at guiding communities through a planning process that can help them move from being aware of their natural hazard risk to acting to reduce it. Nationwide, more than 20,000 jurisdictions have an approved or approvable-pending-adoption hazard mitigation plan. At the same time, 22,000+ communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, and nearly 1,500 of those participate in the Community Rating System.

Obviously, these programs are not mutually exclusive. They were created for different purposes, but have the same goal: to help communities reduce threats and losses caused by floods and other natural hazards. After all, 99 percent of communities enrolled in the CRS also engage in local hazard mitigation planning plans. So, if communities are engaging in both kinds of planning, why must they write two different, separate plans?

The National Mitigation Planning Program at FEMA tackled this question in its new publication, Mitigation Planning and the Community Rating System Key Topics Bulletin. This document assumes the perspective of the mitigation planner and is organized around the local mitigation planning requirements. It aligns mitigation planning requirements to Activity 510 Floodplain Management Planning steps, with helpful hints and advice about common challenges associated with coordinating the processes. The Bulletin is intended to help community officials integrate the two planning processes to produce more effective flood mitigation actions and meet the criteria of both programs more efficiently. The full authorities for each process have not changed. They are available in the Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide (2011) and the CRS Coordinator's Manual (2017).

Communities could save planning participants time, maximize available resources, and add value by building connections to streamline their planning processes. If you’ve thought about developing a combined local mitigation and Activity 510 plan, check it out.

If you have questions about the Mitigation Planning and the Community Rating System Key Topics Bulletin, please contact

And Other FEMA News You Can Use

FEMA releases updated FEMA 213, "Answers to Questions about Substantially Improved/Substantially Damaged Buildings (2018)"

A joint effort by the Building Science Branch and Floodplain Management Division, an updated FEMA 213 significantly expands the number of questions answered in the 1991 version of the publication. The enforcement of the SI/SD requirements can be a major concern for local officials, especially after their communities experience widespread damage from floods or other disasters. The questions and answers in the revised FEMA 213 are intended to guide floodplain administrators, building officials, building inspectors, zoning administrators, citizen planning boards, and elected and other local officials who have roles in enforcing floodplain management and building codes. It is also helpful for architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and others.

FEMA 213 provides short answers to many questions and concerns, while encouraging local officials and others to refer to more complete guidance in FEMA P-758, "Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference." Each question includes a text box referring readers to specific sections in the SI/SD Desk Reference.

FEMA 213 is available here on FEMA's Floodplain Management Publications webpage. ASFPM Committee co-chairs will be reviewing this to see if there are areas of concern.

FEMA Announces the Release of the New NFIP Flood Insurance Manual

FEMA released a new, easy to use Flood Insurance Manual Oct. 1, which supersedes the previous FIM. FEMA designed the FIM with the insurance professional in mind. There are three program changes announced in the new manual:

   The expanded Newly Mapped rating eligibility (effective Oct. 1, 2018), appears in the How to Write section.

   FEMA added Cancellation Reason Code 26 to the How to Cancel section of the FIM to allow cancellation of an NFIP policy when a policyholder has obtained a duplicate policy from sources other than the NFIP.

   Notification requirements of Preferred Risk Policy eligibility for certain cancellation reasons appears in the appropriate cancellation reasons within the How to Cancel section of the FIM.

What is RR2.0?

Risk Rating 2.0 will be a whole new approach for the NFIP to rate flood insurance and provide updated policy forms. It actually is called the Risk Rating and Policy Forms Redesign initiative, which is to deliver rates that are fair, clear and use current technology and data; and use policy forms that are simple, align with the industry, and provide choice. The new rating plan will use replacement cost value, commercial catastrophe models and NFIP mapping data, intuitive rating variables and easily collected data. The rates will reflect a more graduated view of the risk (not just in or out) and reflect different types of flood risk (e.g., fluvial, pluvial, storm surge). FEMA will also be increasing the number of policy forms from three to at least nine. FEMA will be rolling out rates in segments, with the first rates and rating structure to be effective April 2020 for single-family homes in the coastal Southeast (i.e., TX to FL to NC). This is where FEMA has the most policies and most availability of up-to-date data. The order of rollout for additional segments will be determined by FEMA at a later date. ASFPM will keep you updated with additional information.

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