October 19, 2020
Scott L. Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Department of Public Works, Bureau of Environmental Services recently submitted its annual Community Rating System (CRS) recertification to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To participate in the CRS incentive program and earn discounted rates for residential flood insurance, communities confirm annually that they are performing necessary flood mitigation efforts to protect their communities.
“Flood insurance is a critical safeguard that allows our residents to recover and rebuild in the tragic event that flooding occurs. This recertification helps us maintain a Class 6 rating so our residents can benefit from flood insurance rate reductions,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “At the County level, we continue to do everything possible to keep our communities safe and ensure insurance rates are affordable for all our residents.”
Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums may be discounted based on community actions that help reduce flood damage to insurable property, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and demonstrate a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Participating communities must undertake some or all of 18 public information and floodplain management activities reflected on the federal checklist. The CRS assigns points for each of those activities. Once the County achieves certain point totals, homeowners in the designated floodplains become eligible for discounts on their flood insurance. Every five years, the County also prepares and submits a more comprehensive reapplication to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the NFIP.
Howard County achieved an upgrade to Class 6 in 2018 based on improvements in several areas including:
- Outreach projects
- Open space preservation
- Floodplain management planning
- Flood protection information
- Map information service
- Higher regulatory standards for construction
With the upgrade, County homeowners who live in a federally recognized Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are eligible for a 20 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums. Certain policies for homeowners not in a SFHA are eligible for a 10 percent discount.
Howard County homeowners who want to know if they are located in a special flood hazard area can log on to the County’s website at https://data.howardcountymd.gov/gdfirm/main_Web.aspx for more information.
The National Flood Insurance Program was established in 1968 to help residents recover from flood losses through insurance claims, reduce future flood damages through state and community floodplain management regulations, and reduce federal expenditures for disaster assistance and flood control. Among nearly 5 million flood insurance policy holders nationwide, almost 1,300 communities nationwide participate in the CRS.
To learn more about FEMA’s Community Rating System and to download brochures about the program, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.