National Flood Insurance Program
The SD Office of Emergency Management (OEM) administers the National Flood Insurance Program for South Dakota under cooperative agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Training, technical assistance and orientation are provided under the terms of theNational Flood Insurance Program agreement to ensure program knowledge and understanding by community officials, local administrators, and residents of the community.
Why is the floodplain regulated?
Floods have been, and continue to be, a destructive natural hazard in terms of economic loss to the citizens of South Dakota. Since 1978, flood insurance policy holders have received over $13.8 million in claim payments.
What are a community's responsibilities to participate in NFIP?
Enrollment in the National Flood Insurance Program is initiated by a voluntary agreement between the local jurisdiction and the federal government. It is agreed that if a community implements and enforces measures to reduce the risk from flooding in special flood hazard areas, the federal government will make flood insurance available within the community to mitigate future flood losses.
Who needs flood insurance?
Every homeowner, business owner, and renter in South Dakota communities that participate in the NFIP program may purchase a flood insurance policy - regardless of the location of the building. Federal disaster grants do not cover most losses and repayment of a disaster loan can cost many times more than the price of a flood insurance policy.
Unfortunately, it's often after a flood that many people discover that their homeowner or business property insurance policies do not cover flood damages. Approximately 25% of all flood damages occur in low risk zones, commonly described as being "outside the mapped flood zone.
The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management urges citizens to protect their future by getting a flood insurance policy. More information can be found at http://www.floodsmart.gov. To purchase a policy, call your insurance agent.
What South Dakota Communities participate in NFIP?
There are nearly 200 communities participating in the NFIP in South Dakota. Visit http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm for a list of communities.
How would a community know that they can participate in the NFIP?
Community participation in the NFIP is divided into two phases, the Emergency Phase and the Regular Phase. FEMA, which administers the regulatory aspects of the NFIP, notifies a community that it has Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) by issuing a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM). The FHBM shows the approximate boundaries of the 100-year floodplain in that community. This map does not contain 100-year flood elevations or floodway/floodfringe delineations.
What are the steps a community needs to take to participate in the NFIP?
To participate in the NFIP a community must submit an application to FEMA which includes a resolution of intent passed by the city council or county board stating that the community will act in good faith to regulate future floodplain development and an adopted floodplain management ordinance which meets minimum federal standards.
Community eligibility is generally established separately by municipal or county governments for incorporated and unincorporated areas.
Upon application approval by FEMA, the community enters the Emergency (or initial) Phase of the NFIP. This allows anyone in the community to be eligible to purchase flood insurance at a minimal level of coverage.
The next step is to convert the community to the Regular (or second) Phase of the NFIP. By converting a community to the Regular Phase, higher levels of flood insurance coverage becomes available.
Steps for Emergency Phase
Steps for Regular Program
What would I use to request an amendment to a map?
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): This is used to revise the SFHA boundary based on detailed elevation surveying and/or topographic mapping of natural conditions. If the homesite and the lowest flood of the building (including basement or garage) is above the BFE, we can amend the map to remove the homesite and other land area from the SFHA. Thus mandatory flood insurance purchase is lifted.
Letter of Map Revision (LOMR): This is used for new detailed flood studies, drainage improvements, channel alterations, etc., where the boundaries of the SFHA are altered.
How would I apply for a LOMA or LOMR?
A MT-EZ application form must be completed and submitted for an individual residential lot LOMR or LOMA. Multi-lots and major LOMRs are submitted on MT-1 or MT-2 applications. All are processed in Washington, D. C. There are fees for these. Forms are available at http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/frm_form.shtm.
Can only a portion of a parcel be removed?
Yes, if FEMA is proved with a legal description of the land area above the base flood elevation, a LOMA or LOMR can be issued for only a portion of the parcel. Or, in our LOMA or LOMR we might state that only the immediate building site is removed from the SFHA, but that portions of the rest of the property remain within the SFHA, subject to all floodplain management regulations.
Where can I get a floodplain map?
Visit the FEMA Flood Map Store.
Who can I talk to in my community about the floodplain?
The NFIP Directory of Floodplain Administrators has been compiled to provide the list of City and County officials designated to administer the floodplain management program as adopted by their jurisdiction. Email (vacant) to receive contact information for those local officials.
How can I get more information?
The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management has published a "Quick Guide" for floodplain management. To request a copy, submit your name and address to Marc Macy, 605-773-2199.
Are there any other related programs?