Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 19.8

GreenStep City Best Practices: Environmental Management
Surface Water No. 19

Improve local water bodies to sustain their long-term ecological function and community benefits.

Best Practice Action 8

Reduce flooding damage and costs through the National Flood Insurance Programs and the NFIP’s Community Rating System.

  • NOTE: this action was previously combined with BPA 19.4 - see action reports there for NFIP related actions. 
  • A DNR approved floodplain ordinance, resolution of intent to join the National Flood Insurance Program and completed NFIP application form are required to enroll in the NFIP. For assistance with these steps, contact the MNDNR Floodplain Program staff.
  • See DNR model floodplain ordinances.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the NFIP’s minimum standards. Any community that is in full compliance with the NFIP’s minimum floodplain management requirements may apply to join CRS. Communities are rated in Classes 9 to 1, and flood insurance premium rates for individuals in the community are increasingly discounted (in 5% increments) as communities move from Class 9 to Class 1, 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.
  • See FEMA’s CRS resources.
  • The CRS has been a good program for communities that have many existing structures in FEMA-mapped "high risk floodplains," which have a 1% annual chance of flooding areas and are in the "100-year floodplains” With FEMA’s new Risk Rating 2.0 for flood insurance policies starting on October 1, 2021, all policies receive the CRS discount, so the program will now be much more attractive to communities whose landowners have policies outside of the high risk floodplains.
  • The Metropolitan Council Localized Flood Map Screening Tool provides regional climate vulnerability assessments for community planning. 
  • Flood Factor makes it easy to look up a property or community's past flood impacts, current risks, and future projections based on peer-reviewed research from the world's leading flood modelers. 
  • helps property owners (and also renters, associations, governments, etc.) understand the actions they can take today to lower their risk of flooding tomorrow.  
  • Plan ahead, during, and after a flooding event. See the DNR’s Flood Preparation, Response and Recovery site and the Minnesota Post-Disaster Substantial Damage Playbook for Local Officials, a useful resource to help local officials know their responsibilities post-disaster. Find additional resilience planning resources under BP 29
1 star Enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program (note: this requires a MNDNR-approved Floodplain Ordinance); identify residents/businesses experiencing repeated flooding and develop resources for homeowners about purchasing flood insurance. Report inventories/maps of sanitary sewer systems and gray & green stormwater infrastructure under BPA 29.5.
2 star Enroll in the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) at a class rating of 9 through 7; do not allow fill (or no net-filling) within FEMA and locally defined floodplain areas; update models of riverine/lake and/or localized flooding throughout the community. Report assessment and improvements of city-owned buildings and site vulnerabilities under BPA 29.5.
3 star Be recognized in the CRS at a class rating of 6 through 1; implement a city buy-out program for property located in flood zones.

Who's doing it

Mora - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
(A) This chapter regulates development in the flood hazard areas of the City of Mora. These flood hazard areas are subject to periodic inundation, which may result in loss of life and property, health and safety hazards, disruption of commerce and governmental services, extraordinary public expenditures for flood protection and relief, and impairment of the tax base. It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare by minimizing these losses and disruptions.
(B) National Flood Insurance Program Compliance. This chapter is adopted to comply with the rules and regulations of the National Flood Insurance Program codified as 44 Code of Federal Regulations Parts 59 -78, as amended, so as to maintain the community's eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program.
(C) This chapter is also intended to preserve the natural characteristics and functions of watercourses and flood plains in order to moderate flood and stormwater impacts, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, protect aquatic and riparian habitat, provide recreational opportunities, provide aesthetic benefits and enhance community and economic development.
(Ord. 481, passed 2-16-2021)
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Unknown Unknown (City Staff) | | 320-679-1511
Rush City - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Implementation details:
In 2014, the City of Rush City joined over 21,000 communities nationwide that are allowed to purchase federally backed flood insurance. This availability follows the community’s adoption and enforcement of ordinances to reduce flood losses and acceptance by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Property owners in Rush City are now able to purchase flood insurance. This is promoted on the City's website.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Rush City property owners are now able to purchase flood insurance which will help them to repair or rebuild after a flood.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amy Mell (City Staff) | | 320-358-4743