FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Association, was established in 1979 with the mission to help communities nationwide prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade disasters.
FEMA defines a flood and floodproofing like this:
- A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or run off of surface waters from any source; or
- Mudflow or
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
- Any combination of structural and nonstructural additions, changes or adjustments to structures, which reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitation facilities or structures with their contents.
- Under FEMA, the NFIP, National Flood Insurance Program, works with nearly 20,000 communities across the United States to educate and enforce floodplain management ordinances to help reduce future flood damage.
- Flood damage is drastically reduced through communities implementing floodplain management requirements and property owners purchasing flood insurance. Buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards experience approximately 80 percent less damage each year than those not built in compliance.
- The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to renters, homeowners, and business owners in these communities. Flood insurance provides an alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.
- The NFIP also identifies and maps the Nation’s floodplains. Mapping flood hazards creates awareness of the flood hazards and provides the data needed for floodplain management programs and to actuarially rate new construction for flood insurance.