Community Rating System


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) was implemented in 1994 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards. Any community in full compliance with the minimum NFIP floodplain management requirements may apply to join the CRS. The CRS is administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), as well as the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at the state-level.

Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property, (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. Discounts can range from 5%-45%, depending on the community’s floodplain management. (See point system in table to the right.)

For resources related to the CRS, see our Flooding Resources page.

CRS Communities in the SPC Region

CRS Communities in Pennsylvania

There are 35 CRS communities in Pennsylvania, as of October 1, 2018. Some examples are listed below:

How to Apply

Pre-requisites to Apply:

  • Full compliance with NFIP requirements – enforcing local ordinance
  • Be in the regular phase (versus emergency phase) of NFIP for at least 1 year
  • Agree to maintain FEMA Elevation Certificates for all structures in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Address FEMA-identified repetitive loss properties
  • Maintain flood insurance coverage for community-owned properties in the floodplain

Preparing for CRS Application:

Steps for Application:

  • Inform FEMA Regional Office (see Key Contacts) of your community’s interest in applying to the CRS with a letter of intent.
  • FEMA or PEMA will verify that your community is complying with the NFIP by performing a Community Assistance Visit (CAV)
  • Assures your community is complying with your local floodplain ordinance – documentation review, tour of floodplain
  • Submit application, along with documentation of activities to receive credit for, to the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO)
  • Once approved by FEMA, an ISO representative will visit your community to review your application and activities.
  • FEMA will establish credit and notify you (the community), the state, insurance companies and other parties.
  • To remain in the CRS, your community must verify credited activities by submitting a recertification annually. New credit can be earned with new floodplain management activities, therefore reducing the flood insurance premiums for your residents.

How to Earn Points

Series 300
Public information
Series 400
Mapping and Regulation
Series 500
Flood Damage Reduction
Series 600
Warning and Response
Elevation Certificates
Map Information Services
Outreach Projects
Hazard Disclosure
Flood Protection Information
Flood Protection Assistance
Flood Insurance Promotion
Floodplain Mapping
Open Space Preservation
Higher Regulatory Standards
Flood Data Maintenance
Stormwater Management
Floodplain Management Planning
Acquisition and Relocation
Flood Protection
Drainage System
Flood Warning Program
Levee Safety
Dam Safety

See Master List of Creditable CRS Activities and Elements for more information. Our resource guide ” Developing a Community Engagement Program for Flood Resiliency ” has more guidance for a public outreach program, which can gain your community points under the CRS.

Key Contacts

I Need Help With… Contact Organization Information
CRS ApplicationAmanda GowansInsurance Service Organization
(ISO) PA CRS Coordinator
(443) 743-7993
Community Assisted Visit (CAV)Richard SobotaFEMA Region III
Senior Insurance Specialist
(215) 931-5541
CAV, NFIP requirementsThomas HughesPEMA
Hazard Mitigation Officer / NFIP Coordinator
CRS ResourcesEric StahleyCRS Users

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