The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program that communities can join to get credit for floodplain management activities above the minimum standards. Communities receive points for those activities and based upon the number of points, flood insurance premiums are reduced for policyholders in the community. CRS is a "win-win" for because it reduces a community's vulnerability to floods and also reduces the cost of flood insurance premiums.
Communities can get points in four different categories:
- Public Information Activities
- Mapping and Regulations
- Flood Damage Reduction Activities
- Warning and Response
The activities within each category are based on the best practices in floodplain management. For example, the more open space a community has in its special flood hazard area, the more resilient from flood damage the community is. Communities are also rewarded for buying out properties in the floodplain to reduce the number of structures at risk to flooding. CRS rewards communities for proactive outreach to residents and businesses as well as for keeping as much data as possible about flood risks.
Each activity in CRS has a set amount of points that a community could obtain. For every 500 points that a community achieves, its policyholders receive an additional 5% discount. Each 500 points counts as a class improvement, so the lower the class the more discount available. Six communities in Nebraska currently participate in CRS:
- Lincoln - Class 5 (25% reduction)
- Papillion - Class 7 (15% reduction)
- Valley - Class 8 (10% reduction)
- Fremont - Class 8 (10% reduction)
- DeWitt - Class 9 (5% reduction)
- Omaha - Class 9 (5% reduction)
Every community in Nebraska is automatically eligible for up to 250 points based on minimum standards set by the state floodplain management regulations. Freeboard requirements, or requirements that structures be elevated one foot above base flood elevation, mean communities will receive points. Communities located downstream from a high hazard potential dam will receive points based on the Nebraska Dam Safety section's programs. And if your community has an online assessor's map from the county, 50 more points may be available because of the NDNR interactive floodplain map.
Communities interested in joining CRS or just learning more about it should contact Katie Ringland at NeDNR at Katie.Ringland@nebraska.gov or 402-471-2094. He can walk you through the steps of the application and connect you with the appropriate national-level contact.
And for more resources, go to: CRS Resources