What is the Community Rating System?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) sets minimum standards for communities to take actions that protect people and property from flood damage. The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that rewards communities for taking action beyond minimum standards.
The program rates communities from Class 1 (the highest rating) to Class 10 (the lowest rating). CRS communities qualify for 5% reductions in flood insurance premiums for every step increase in their ranking, except the Class 10 ranking, which carries no discount.
How long has Portland participated in the Community Rating System?
Portland has been a CRS community since 2001. Environmental Services staff works with FEMA annually to review actions the city takes to qualify as a CRS community. Every three years, the city goes through a rigorous process to verify all the elements of its participation.
What information does FEMA use to rank communities?
Portland's rating is based on credit FEMA gives in specific categories that include:
- Environmental zoning
- Providing public information about flood risks and protection
- Amount of floodplain designated as parks and open space
- Restoration of natural floodplain functions
- A comprehensive stormwater management plan
- Updated floodplain codes
How does Portland rank in the CRS?
Portland began its CRS participation in 2001 as a Class 6 community and we eventually qualified as a Class 5 community. After the last FEMA verification cycle in 2015, Portland returned to a Class 6 rating.
Portland continues to work as hard as ever to reduce flood risks in our community. FEMA recently made changes to Community Rating System criteria and how the agency interprets the criteria, and those changes contributed to the city's downgrade.
As a Class 5 community, we qualified for a 25% flood insurance discount. As a Class 6 community, we qualify for a 20% flood insurance discount.