Projects

Mitigating coastal hazards risks through community education/outreach to facilitate participation in NFIP’s community rating system (CRS)

Abstract

This project will provide support for three predominantly rural counties and their four municipal jurisdictions in demystifying the CRS Program and application process. Participating communities will be provided direct assistance in implementing CRS-approved activities that will result in better coastal resource management. Typical CRS activities involve enhanced public education efforts, streamlined local policies and regulations for floodplain management, and other activities designed to mitigate the impacts of floods and severe storms on community assets. The benefits and products derived from the proposed project can be transferred to other communities in Mississippi as well as throughout the Gulf of Mexico region through collaboration with the Coastal Storms Program.

Objectives

To develop disaster-resilience; to provide education/outreach; to identify gaps in education/outreach and/or other coastal storms issues; to provide improved, coordinated, and/or simplified delivery of data to local jurisdictions and the public.

Methodology

Appoint task force planning team to assist in directing technical assistance and facilitation of approved activities leading to application to NFIP's CRS Program; develop step-by-step application and participation process, including identification of gateway activities and recommended incremental implementation of activities to achieve lower CRS ratings.

Rationale

The Community Rating System program offers local participating communities a venue for enhancing their floodplain management programs, resulting in a mitigation of risks to the community as well as providing homeowners a direct reduction in flood insurance premiums. Though an excellent program, statewide there is low participation -- only 22 communities concentrated in urbanized areas.  This can be partially attributed to difficulties in preparing the application form and in identifying and implementing qualified activities for Program participation. This project will provide support for three predominantly rural counties and their four municipal jurisdictions in demystifying the CRS Program and application process. Participating communities will be provided direct assistance in implementing CRS-approved activities that will result in better coastal resource management. Typical CRS activities involve enhanced public education efforts, streamlined local policies and regulations for floodplain management, and other activities designed to mitigate the impacts of floods and severe storms on community assets. The benefits and products derived from the proposed project can be transferred to other communities in Mississippi as well as throughout the Gulf of Mexico region through collaboration with the Coastal Storms Program in the StormSmart Coasts Network and other networking activities.