The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will soon release an updated CRS Coordinator’s Manual, the guidebook for the Community Rating System (CRS), an optional component of the National Flood Insurance Program that offers incentives to communities that do more than the minimum requirements to help citizens prevent or reduce flood losses.
The CRS Coordinator’s Manual outlines how the program works, what activities are eligible for credits and how credits are calculated. Once earned by the communities, these credits determine a community-wide percentage-based discount on individual NFIP policy premiums.
While the manual is undergoing final review at the Office of Management and Budget, it is expected to be finalized by Jan. 1, 2017. Once final, the manual will be available for download at CRSresources.org.
FEMA said no major changes are included in this update (unlike the most recent update to the Coordinator’s Manual in 2013). However, the agency does note some of these changes are “quite important.” For example:
- Changes will be made to the CRS repetitive loss categories impacting category definitions and management responsibilities to meet CRS requirement.
- The freeboard prerequisite for becoming a CRS Class 4 community is being clarified. New language will clarify the one-foot freeboard requirement must be implemented throughout the SFHA eliminating an unintended misconception resulting from previous edits to the provision.
- The manual will include a standard for incorporating sea level rise within several CRS elements options for watershed management planning credit for coastal communities.