Flood Insurance


The Stafford Act constitutes the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response activities especially as they pertain to FEMA and FEMA programs.  FEMA, through its Office of Chief Counsel, has produced an updated electronic version of the Stafford Act.  

Download the Stafford Act, stafford_act_booklet_04 22 13.   Some highlights and new features:  Contains all changes to the Stafford Act since 2007, including the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) of 2013.  The document is optimized for portable tablet devices:  From the Table of Contents, you can click on the statute name or number and you’ll jump to the statutory text.

What is the National Flood Insurance Program?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a voluntary program based on a mutual agreement between the federal government and the local community.  In exchange for adopting and enforcing a local floodplain management ordinance, federally backed flood insurance is made available to all property owners throughout the community.

State Role in the NFIP

The Division of Water (DOW) is the state’s coordinating agency for the NFIP.  In this role, the DOW establishes development and building standards, provides technical assistance to communities & agencies, and evaluates & documents community floodplain management activities.

When Do I Need A Stream Construction Permit from the state?

The DOW administers KRS 151, which outlines the requirements for obtaining a Stream Construction Permit for floodplain development.  Stream Construction Permits are issued by the Cabinet pursuant to 401 KAR 4:060.  Kentucky requires a Stream Construction Permit for any development in areas along or across a stream, up to the one square mile drainage area, and is not limited to the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) as shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

The state also requires that substantial improvements to a structure be based on a 1-year period in which the cumulative cost of construction equals or exceeds 50% of the structures fair market value.  Substantially improved structures will be required to bring the entire structure up to current minimum NFIP standards.

Link here for a NFIP Fact Sheet.

Why buy flood insurance?
  • Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to the average flood insurance policy, which is about $650 per year, or about $54 per month.
  • In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.
  • In a high-risk area, your home is more likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
  • Even though flood insurance isn’t federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25% of all NFIP flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.


Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program

This booklet is intended to acquaint the public with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Despite the highly technical nature of the Program, there has been a deliberate effort to minimize the use of technical terms. This publication is designed for readers who do not need a detailed history or refined technical or legal explanations, but do need a basic understanding of the program and the answers to some frequently asked questions. Readers who need legal definitions should refer to the Standard Flood Insurance Policy and to NFIP and related regulations. Click Answers to Questions about the NFIP to download the publication.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Requirements

Responsibility for flood loss reduction is shared by all units of government— local, state and federal—and the private sector.  Fulfilling this responsibility depends on having the knowledge and skills to plan and implement needed floodplain management measures. The fundamental floodplain management program that most others are built on is the NFIP.

Certain activities (e.g., floodproofing design,  survey of building elevations, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, survey and topographic data) require certification by a licensed professional architect, engineer, surveyor, or the community floodplain administrator.  “Managing Floodplain Development Through The NFIP ” can be downloaded via this link, or click here  (entire document).


NFIP Desk Reference Guide

October 2017

FEMA updated its “NFIP Desk Reference Guide for State Insurance Commissioners and Others.” The guide is in three distinct parts: Before the Flood, During the Flood and After the Flood. Each provides valuable resources on what you need to know, what you need to share with policyholders and property owners, and who to contact. It’s organized to provide you the information you need to know when you need to know it most. FEMA published it electronically to ensure easy updates as the program evolves, and also included an interactive version.


FloodSmart Websites Offer Resources for FloodSmart Partners and Agents

Have you visited FloodSmart’s consumer or agent websites lately? Both sites have been expanding over the last few years, offering new and improved resources for groups who often play a critical role in helping homeowners understand, and address, their flood risk with insurance protection. From an entirely new section of FloodSmart.gov housing outreach tools for stakeholders to a helpful new guide that agents can take into the field after an event, both sites are evolving to provide more tools and resources to support NFIP partners who connect consumers to flood insurance.

Community Resources Page

FloodSmart has a new resource for stakeholders and communities that want to go the extra mile to help property owners better understand their flood risk and the financial impact of flooding. This new page on FloodSmart.gov provides sharable tools for communicating the risks, causes, and costs of flooding and a wealth of information about how to empower local residents to obtain flood insurance policies.

Resources on the page include interactive tools showing flood risks and the cost of flooding; toolkits with materials to support your work around flood outreach, flood map changes, and levees; videos showing the devastation caused by flooding; and embeddable widgets highlighting specific flood risks. Visit the page to learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/partner/partner_index.jsp.

Updated Map Change Toolkit

The Map Change Toolkit is a comprehensive suite of materials that help local leaders, insurance and real estate professionals, lenders, builders, developers, and others communicate the insurance implications of local flood map updates.  The kit has been updated to include more current data and reflect the evolution of mapping efforts. It includes templates for outreach that can be customized with local data and flood history information. Look for the updated toolkit in the Tools & Resources section of the Community Resources Page at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/partner/tools_resources.jsp.

Agent Field Guide

Agents.FloodSmart.gov has a new guide to help insurance agents promote the importance of flood insurance to their customers. The guide includes a wealth of tips on how to explain flood risks, talking points that can be useful in telephone conversations and in-person client and prospect meetings, “barrier buster” messages that can help you overcome resistance to purchasing a policy, and much more. Check it out atwww.Agents.FloodSmart.gov.

Please visitwww.FloodSmart.gov to see what is new and exciting for agents, real estate professionals, lenders, and community officials.


NFIP Links

The NFIP provides a wealth of information that can strengthen residents understanding of flood-related issues, including how to prepare for floods, how to obtain financial protection against flood damage, and what to do after a flood disaster.

NFIP Documents


Featured Topics

Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension for Insurance Professionals 

New resources have been created to help various audiences understand and explain the benefits of the NFIP’s new Preferred Risk Policy Extension. The link above will not only allow you to access important documents created for the insurance professional but also to navigate to other resources created for each audience type.

Flood Insurance Requirements for Recipients of Federal Disaster Assistance
When property owners receive financial assistance from the Federal Government following a Presidentially declared disaster, they may be required to purchase flood insurance coverage.

Answers to Questions About the NFIP
This booklet is intended to acquaint the public with the National Flood Insurance Program. This publication is designed for readers who do not need a detailed history or refined technical or legal explanations, but do need a basic understanding of the program and the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Other Links:

  • FloodSmart – Learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a flood insurance policy, and what the benefits are of protecting home and property against flooding.
  • FEMA Levee Resources – Access fact sheets on living behind levees, the NFIP, and frequently asked questions for the public as well as other levee-related information.
  • NFIP Community Rating System – Access a full description of the NFIP Community Rating System with information about the benefits of the CRS and how to join.
  • FEMA Map Service Center (800) 358-9616 – Learn about the current status of local flood maps and related flood risks or order current maps.
  • Map Change Toolkit – Use this downloadable toolkit of customizable template materials and resources to help you communicate what map changes will mean to those in your community, as well as flood risk and flood insurance.  Flood Outreach Toolkit Access the FloodSmart campaigns comprehensive outreach toolkit with materials and resources, including fact sheets on a range of flood insurance and preparedness topics, the insurance implications of local map changes, answers to tough questions, and online resources. Request a copy by emailing: info@femafloodsmart.com





KAMM mailing address: KAMM, PO Box 1016, Frankfort, KY 40602-1016.

Have questions, contact us at help@kymitigation.org.  Don’t forget to join the KAMM group on Facebook and LinkedIn.