Federal Links
National Flood Insurance Program

In 1968, the U.S. Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves from floods that impact the United States. Flood insurance does not stop flood losses and standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through private insurance companies and with assistance from the states, administers the NFIP. Through this program, any property owner, even those living outside of the 100-year flood plain, may purchase flood insurance on their structure and personal property. To be eligible, an individual's community must first adopt a flood plain ordinance which conforms to FEMA's specifications (view the list of communities, by state, participating in the NFIP on the FEMA web site).

The NFIP supports itself on the premiums paid by the policy holders. For owners of property within a 100-year flood plain, the NFIP is the only way they may purchase flood insurance. However, in spite of its availability, many flood plain residents do not purchase flood insurance.

Over the years, FEMA has incorporated incentives for better flood plain management into the flood insurance program. For example, the Community Rating System offers discounts of up to 50% on flood insurance premiums if communities undertake a proactive flood loss reduction program. Actions include adopting stringent flood plain management regulations and developing flood plain acquisition and flood proofing programs, including elevation of flood plain structures. Despite the availability of flood insurance and the incentives for better flood plain management, federal disaster assistance is still requested after serious flooding.

Related Information

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program

Flood Insurance Information for Homeowners and Renters

How to Purchase Flood Insurance

View/Order FEMA Flood Insurance Maps
Flood Insurance Claims in the Delaware River Basin

Compliance With The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act

The federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 demonstrated the desire and expectation of the U.S. Congress that states and communities become more proactive in reducing the long-term impacts of disasters.

Compliance with the Act's requirements for the development of FEMA-approved state and local hazard mitigation plans forms the basis for communities to receive cost-shared federal funds aimed at flood mitigation. Both structural and non-structural measures may comprise such plans. The plans require vulnerability assessments and modeling tools are available to support this work.

Pennsylvania is updating its State Standard All-Hazard Mitigation Plan and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has developed a new web site at www.pemahmp.com to inform the public about this effort.

An example of the July 2006 mitigation plan developed for Lehigh and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania can be viewed on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission's web site. Another example is the 2010 Multi-Jurisdictional All-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update for Sussex County, Delaware (pdf 7.2 MB). When searching for local all-hazard mitigation plans, they can often be found on their respective county emergency management web sites.

Related Information

New York State Hazard Mitigation

Pennsylvania State Hazard Mitigation
New Jersey State Hazard Mitigation

Multi-Jurisdictional Flood Mitigation Plan for the Non-Tidal New Jersey Section of the Delaware River Basin

Association of State Flood Plain Managers (ASFPM)

Additional Federal Links

GENERAL

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Flood Information

NOAA Flood Safety Information

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Flood Information

FEMA Flood Information

National Weather Service "Turn Around Don't Drown" Campaign

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Flood Information 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Flood Information

U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Preparedness and Response

FEDERAL PROGRAMS

FEMA'S Flood Smart

FEMA'S Community Rating System (CRS)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention

NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection

NRCS Watershed Rehabilitation

U.S. Department of Agriculture Disaster Assistance Programs

WATERSHED/FLOODPLAIN PROTECTION AND PLANNING

1984 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Main Stem Delaware River Flood Study (pdf 6.4 MB)

FEMA Emergency Management Institute - Example Plans Sept. 2007 (pdf 1 MB)

TOOLS

NOAA Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

Hazus-MH Flood Loss Estimation Models

Latest Information About FEMA's Flood Hazard Mapping

FLOOD DATA

National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Storm Event Database Click on U.S. Local Storm Reports to search by state and/or county for flood damage and other storm event data.

Flood Damage in the United States

USGS Peak Stream Flow Data By State: DE, NJ, NY, PA