The Community Rating System Provides Incentive for Stronger Floodplain Management and Potential Discounts in Flood Insurance Premiums
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities that would exceed the minimum NFIP standards. Any community in full compliance with the minimum NFIP floodplain management requirements may apply to join the CRS.
Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
A community accrues points to improve its CRS Class Rating and receive increasingly higher discounts. Points are awarded for engaging in any of 19 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
- Public information
- Mapping and regulations
- Flood damage reduction
- Warning and response
Benefits of the CRS
- Lower-cost flood insurance rates are only one of the rewards a community receives from participating in the CRS. Other benefits include:
- Citizens and property owners in CRS communities have increased opportunities to learn about risk, evaluate their individual vulnerabilities, and take action to protect themselves, as well as their homes and businesses.
- CRS floodplain management provides enhanced public safety, reduced damage to property and public infrastructure, and avoids of economic disruption and loss.
- Communities can evaluate the effectiveness of their flood programs against a nationally recognized benchmark.
- Technical assistance in designing and implementing some activities is available to community officials at no charge.
- CRS communities have incentives to maintain and improve their floodplain management plan programs over time.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to foster a plan to increase the resiliency of the Township of Brick (Township), the Township applied for and received funds from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs through the Post-Sandy Planning Grant Program. These funds will enable the Township to integrate their hazard mitigation planning into the traditional land use planning of the community. The Post-Sandy Planning Grant Program has provided the Township the opportunity to build on the information included in the recently adopted Ocean County Hazard Mitigation Plan and conduct a more detailed, township-specific study to further characterize flood hazards in the municipality and fine-tune the mitigation actions and recommendations. This effort will allow for development of a comprehensive planning strategy that works toward implementation of short-term recovery and mitigation projects and lay the groundwork for long-term recovery and resiliency.
The planning process will result in development of several township-specific working documents that will be used to reduce vulnerability to hazards, increase safety, and limit damages to both public and private property. These plans will form the foundation for the community’s long-term strategy to reduce losses from disaster and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. They create a framework for risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.
The following deliverables will be developed under this project:
- Floodplain Management Plan
- Hazard Mitigation Plan
- Repetitive Loss Area Analysis
- Flood Warning and Response Plan
- Neighborhood-Specific Plans
- Ordinance Preparation
- Capital Improvement Plan
- Master Plan
What is Hazard Mitigation?
Hazard Mitigation is any action taken to reduce the loss of life and property by limiting the impact of disasters (natural, technological, and man-made) (www.fema.gov). It is often considered the first of the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Mitigation measures fall into the following six general categories and address both public and private property:
- Prevention: Measures such as planning and zoning, open space preservation, and regulations on development, building codes, storm water management, soil erosion, and sediment control.
- Property Protection: Measures such as acquisition, relocation, storm shutters, rebuilding, barriers, flood-proofing, insurance, and structural retrofits for high winds and earthquake hazards.
- Public Education and Awareness: Measures such as outreach projects, real estate disclosure, hazard information centers, technical assistance, and school-age and adult education programs.
- Natural Resource Protection: Measures such as erosion and sediment control, stream corridor protection, vegetative management, and wetlands preservation.
- Emergency Services: Measures such as hazard threat recognition, hazard warning systems, emergency response, protection of critical facilities, and health and safety maintenance.
- Structural Projects: Measures such as dams, levees, seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, high flow diversions, spillways, buttresses, debris basins, retaining walls, channel modifications, storm sewers, and retrofitted buildings and elevated roadways (seismic protection).
What is a Floodplain Management Plan?
A floodplain management plan (FMP) is a community-wide plan that identifies existing and future flood-related hazards and their causes and provides a blueprint for mitigation of the impacts of flooding. The FMP ensures that recommended activities meet the goals and objectives of the community and are in coordination with land use and comprehensive planning and that criteria used in land use and development account for the hazards faced by existing and new development. Education of the community about the hazards, loss reduction measures, and the natural and beneficial benefits of floodplains is included in theFMP.
What is a Repetitive Loss Area Analysis?
Repetitive loss area analyses (RLAA) is a more detailed site-specific plan to reduce flood losses in repetitively flooded areas. It has a highly specific and detailed focus on analyzing areas that experience a significant amount of repetitive losses.
What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
The development of a Hazard Mitigation Plan will help facilitate short-term recovery as well as provide the foundation for long-term resiliency. The community land use based hazard mitigation plan will factor in current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) best management practices on integrating hazard mitigation into local planning.
How does this planning process benefit the Township of Brick and its residents?
The comprehensive floodplain and hazard management, recovery and resiliency planning effort assists the Township of Brick with the following:
- An increased understanding of natural hazards that the community faces.
- Reduced long-term impacts and damages to human health and structures and reduced repair costs.
- Development of more sustainable and disaster-resistant communities.
- Access to state and federal mitigation grant funding for eligible projects.
- Increased effectiveness of the CRS program.
Proactive mitigation leads to sustainable, more cost-effective projects. By contrast, reactive mitigation tends to lead to the “quick-fix” alternatives; it simply costs too much to address the effects of disasters only after they happen. A surprising amount of damage can be prevented if the community anticipates where and how disasters will occur and take steps to mitigate those damages.
Benefits: A well-prepared plan will:
- Identify existing and future flood-related hazards and their causes;
- Ensure that a comprehensive review of all possible activities and mitigation measures is conducted so that the most appropriate solutions will be implemented to address the hazard;
- Ensure that the recommended activities meet the goals and objectives of the community, are in coordination with land use and comprehensive planning, do not create conflicts with other activities, and are coordinated so that the costs of implementing individual activities are reduced;
- Ensure that the criteria used in community land use and development programs account for the hazards faced by existing and new development;
- Educate residents and property owners about the hazards, loss reduction measures, and the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains;
- Build public and political support for activities and projects that prevent new problems, reduce losses, and protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains; and
- Build a constituency that wants to see the plan’s recommendations implemented.
What are the flood hazards in Brick Township?
Floodplain Management Planning Committee
|John G. Ducey*||Mayor||Township of Brick|
|Jim Fozman*||Councilman||Township of Brick|
|Joanne Bergin*||Business Administrator||Township of Brick|
|Lisa Auermeuller (alternate - Chris Huch)||Stakeholder - Academia||Jacques Costeau National Estuarine Research Reserve|
|Glenn Campbell||Director of Public Works||Township of Brick|
|Elissa Commins (alternate - Kurt Otto)||Engineer/Floodplain Administrator||Township of Brick|
|Michael Fowler, AICP||CRS Coordinator||Township of Brick|
|L. Stanton Hales, Jr.||Stakeholder/Watershed Committee||Barnegat Pay Partnership|
|Art Halloran||Planning Board/Master Plan Committee Chair||Township of Brick|
|Rob Karl (alternate - Steve Specht)||MUA Supervisor||Brick Township MUA|
|Dan Newman||Construction Code||Township of Brick|
|Joe Pawlowicz (alternate - Joe Gilsenan)||OEM Coordinator - Resident||Emergency Management Office|
|Tara Paxton, AICP||AICP/PP Planner||Township of Brick|
|H.L. Van Varick||Resident||Public|
|* non-voting member|
Resources and Links
- Ocean County Planning Department
- Ocean County Office of Emergency Management
- Ocean County Soil Conservation District
- State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
- State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management – Mitigation Section
- State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Home Page
- FEMA Hazard Mitigation Division
- FEMA – Region II
Flood Insurance and Grant Programs