Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
October 25, 2020
The City recently received some good news from FEMA that should translate into future savings for city property owners on Flood Insurance rates.
In a letter to City Manager Dale Martin dated October 21, 2020, William H. Lesser, CRS Coordinator doe the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, wrote:
Congratulations! The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has determined that the City of Fernandina Beach will increase to a Class 6 in the NFIP CRS. The floodplain management activities implemented by your community qualify it for a 20 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for NFIP policies issued or renewed in Special Flood Hazard Areas on or after April 1, 2021. This savings is a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage.
During the October 20, 2020 Fernandina Beach City Commisson (FBCC), Commissioners thanked the City’s Building Department and their flood plain consultant Del Schwalls for their ongoing efforts to reduce flood insurance premiums for city property owners.
The City’s goal is to achieve a rating of Class 1, held by few communities in the nation. Efforts such as placing land in conservation and outreach efforts help the city in achieving this goal.
Lesser concluded his letter to the City as follows:
The CRS rating for your community will automatically be renewed annually as long as there are no NFIP noncompliance actions, so a notification letter will not be sent every year. This annual renewal will take place as long as your community continues to implement the CRS activities you certify in your annual recertification documentation. If no additional modifications or new CRS activities are added, the next verification visit for your community will be in accordance with its established 5-year cycle. In the interim, FEMA will periodically send the NFIP/CRS Update newsletter and other notices to your CRS Coordinator to keep your community informed.
I commend you on your community actions and your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant. This commitment enhances public safety, property protection, and protects the natural functions of floodplains, and reduces flood insurance premiums.
As a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum program requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the Community Rating System:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management