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Join FEMA’s Community Rating System Program Using California’s Statewide Floodplain Management Activities

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive-based program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements.   Flood insurance premium rates within the community are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s actions.  Premium discounts range from 5 percent (Class 9) to a maximum of 45 percent (Class 1).

Thanks to the California Department of Water Resources (CA DWR) strategy to improve participation in FEMA’s CRS program, there are up to 700 points that communities could claim under an approach known as Unified Minimum Credits (UMC), i.e. credit for activities being implemented in every community in the state. The “minimum” means that if a community’s program exceeds the state’s activity, then the community can receive higher credit.  Many California communities may be able to qualify for a Class 9 rating because of the UMC, and your community may even exceed the minimum.

As stated on CA DWR’s site, ‘In 2011, the State of California was found to have 17 creditable elements, ranking third nationwide after Florida and Michigan. Although it is difficult to place a dollar value on these credits, it is estimated that state activities provide an average savings of $48,860 per community or $3,600,000 for the entire state in reduced flood insurance premiums.’
If your community is not currently participating in the CRS Program, contact the State and Federal resources listed below to discuss how you might be able to take advantage of the UMC credits.  Current CRS communities may be eligible to drop a class.
• Patricia Rippe, FEMA RIX Natural Hazards Program Specialist,
• Dave Arkens , ISO CRS Specialist,
• James Eto, CA DWR, Acting NFIP State Coordinator,
• Raul Barba,
Read more about the California UMC here or download the PDF here. Visit FEMA and CA DWR’s CRS sites to learn more.

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