Walton County Lowers NFIP Community Rating from Class 6 to Class 5 – Some Flood Insurance Policies Discounts to go from 20% to 25%
During their regular meeting on Tuesday, December 13th, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) was presented with a certificate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding their participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS).
The NFIP-CRS recognizes floodplain management and outreach activities performed by communities that exceed the NFIP minimum standards. CRS is a voluntary program which recognizes a jurisdiction’s efforts by reducing the cost of flood insurance premiums by 5 to 45 percent for flood insurance policies in communities that participate in the CRS.
A jurisdiction’s final CRS standings are derived through a point system. Points are awarded based on the following criteria:
1. Public Information
2. Mapping and Regulations
3. Flood Damage Reduction
4. Warning and Response
Historically, Walton County has been part of the CRS program. In 2015, the County held a Class 6 rating which provided a 20% discount on some flood insurance policies to the public. Following this year’s recertification, Walton County secured a Class 5 rating which will increase that discount from 20% to 25%. The increase in the County’s CRS class was based on additional information under the “Warning and Response” section for our annual recertification.
The process of recertification took several months, and required the participation and coordination of several County departments including Emergency Management, Planning and Development and Public Works.
Benefits of the CRS Program
• Improved public safety through outreach, public alert notification systems and better flood response plans.
• The opportunity for a community to evaluate the effectiveness of its floodplain management program against other state and nationally recognized benchmarks.
• Savings on flood insurance policies covering publicly owned and leased buildings.
• More money staying in the community instead of being spent on flood insurance.
• A reduction in flood damage and increased environmental protection.
• Residents being reminded the community is working to reduce flood losses and lower insurance costs.
• More knowledgeable residents and greater support for flood protection measures as the result of outreach activities.
• Lower insurance costs which may provide incentive to those on the fence about purchasing flood insurance.
While Walton County will now retain their Class 5 rating for the next 3 years, information must be sent on an annual basis to confirm that rating. Following the 3-year cycle, a full recertification must be conducted with will include an onsite visit from FEMA representatives.
For questions, or additional information, please contact either Emergency Management Director, Jeff Goldberg, at 850-307-4121 or Floodplain Manager, Aaron Craker, at 850-267-1955.