CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH ACHIEVES CLASS 5 CRS FLOOD STATUS
Lower Rating Translates into Potentially Larger Flood Insurance Discounts for WPB Residents
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (June 20, 2018) -- The City of West Palm Beach has been ranked as a Class 5-city by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) for flood measures and insurance. The CRS is an incentive program issued by FEMA that recognizes and awards communities based on their floodplain management plans and capacity to mitigate flood damage. Based on the numerical rankings ranging from 9 to 1, communities are awarded flood insurance premium rates with discounts that reflect the level of flood risk present. With a lower CRS rating, a community can rank higher in their floodplain management plan, which can translate into larger discounts enjoyed by residents on their flood insurance.
According to City of West Palm Beach Development Services Department Management Analyst and certified Floodplain Manager Ralph Wall, in order to be audited by the CRS board for a status update, cities are tasked with updating their floodplain management plans, enhancing the maintenance of their storm water systems, and developing projects to prevent flooding in their localities. “How well you are performing in the activities they are asking you to do determines the number of points you are awarded and how high of a rating you receive,” Wall explains.
To reach a Class 5 rating on the CRS scale, communities have to meet certain prerequisites and enact various programs. The City of West Palm Beach has instituted a public information program which involves the community helping to disseminate flood information citywide. Additionally, Wall and his team have developed a repetitive loss area analysis, a means by which citizens are contacted regarding their flood experiences, floodplains are analyzed, and projects are developed in order to effectively mitigate flooding. These are just some of the measures that have afforded the City of West Palm Beach extra points leading to the Class 5 rating.
The new CRS Class 5 rating will go into effect on October 1st, 2018. As this status takes effect, City of West Palm Beach residents may begin to see a difference in their flood insurance rates.
“The new rating entitles new flood insurance holders a 25% discount on flood insurance, and existing insurance holders may receive an additional 5% discount”, explains Steve Misshula, Management Analyst for the Development Services Department. This contrasts with the 20% discount awarded to new flood insurance holders under the previous Class 6 rating.”
Although recently awarded a Class 5 rating, the City is diligently working to achieve a Class 4 rating in the near future. Mr. Wall encourages residents of the City to purchase flood insurance in hopes that in the event of a storm, potential damages will be covered and insured.
For general flood information and information about flood insurance, please visit: http://wpb.org/Departments/Development-Services/Flood-Information.