National Flood Insurance Program /Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is an arm of FEMA. Established in 1968, its goal is to reduce flood losses by fostering effective building practices. The NFIP provides federally-backed flood insurance for communities that adopt and enforce flood loss reduction standards. These standards require that houses be elevated above the floodplain (areas of the City subject to periodic inundation from floodwaters) so as to minimize their risk of flooding. Since Pinellas Park participates in the NFIP, this allows residents and businesses in Pinellas Park to cover their structures against flood losses since homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damages.
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a part of the NFIP. Local governments participating in the CRS go beyond the minimum standards for floodplain management. By performing tasks and services that further reduce the effects of the flooding hazard, these communities are rewarded with discounts on flood insurance premiums for residents and businesses. These activities include providing information to citizens on how to protect your home and property from flooding, maintaining the City's drainage system and providing site specific information to the homeowner about issues which may impact their property.
In 1977 the City adopted a Flood Damage Control Ordinance in 1977 and has updated them periodically over the years. These regulations are a part of Pinellas Park's Land Development Code. The ordinance establishes construction standards for both residential and nonresidential structures, depending on their location within the City. For example, if a structure is proposed to be built in a zone subject to flooding, then the building must be built so that the first floor is above the base flood elevation. This elevation information is located on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which residents can view at the Community Planning Offices, Public Library, or on line at the NFIP Map Service Center.
To learn more about Flooding and Protecting Your Property and Yourself visit: Floodsmart.gov.