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- National Flood Insurance Program
- Compliance With The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act
- Additional Federal Links
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.
|View/Order FEMA Flood Insurance Maps|
|Flood Insurance Claims in the Delaware River Basin|
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.
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.
|Pennsylvania State Hazard Mitigation|
|New Jersey State Hazard Mitigation|
WATERSHED/FLOODPLAIN PROTECTION AND PLANNING
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.