Emergency Management FAQs

No, counties are not required to complete the plan, but every county is encouraged to because it will ensure everyone is better prepared in the event of a disaster. If a county chooses not to complete a plan, then the county will not be eligible for future hazard mitigation grant program and pre-disaster mitigation funding for projects.

During the mitigation planning process, each jurisdiction should include individuals from agencies involved in hazard mitigation activities, agencies with the authority to regulate development, and offices responsible for enforcing local ordinances are important members of the planning team.  This is a good time to include businesses, academia, and other private and nonprofit interests to build a preparedness team to be able to collaborate ideas and resources to respond when a disaster occurs. The public should also be invited to participate in all aspects of the plan. Documentation needs to be kept as to how the public and others were invited and document who attends the meetings. 

The county should submit the plan to SDOEM for review to ensure that no changes need to be made. If our office determines that no changes need to be made, the county and all entities that were involved in the plan should formally adopt the plan. Our office will need copies of all entities' adoption of the plan.

The county is required to review and update the plan every five years; however, it is a good idea to review plans every year to keep it up to date.

The community does not have to participate in the NFIP to receive the PDM planning funds; however, to be eligible for future Hazard Mitigation Assistance funds for identified mitigation projects within the plan, the community will need to join the NFIP and also be in good standing.

  • Adopt and enforce a flood damage prevention ordinance.

  • Require permits for all types of development in the floodplain.
  • Assure that building sites are reasonably safe from flooding.
  • Estimate flood elevations where not determined by FEMA.
  • Require new or substantially improved homes and manufactures homes to be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation.
  • Require non-residential buildings to be elevated or flood-proofed.
  • Determine if damaged buildings are substantially damaged.
  • Conduct field inspections and cite violations.
  • Require Elevation Certificates to document compliance.
  • Carefully consider requests for variances.
  • Resolve non-compliance and violations.
  • Advise FEMA when updates to flood maps are needed.

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.

There are nearly 200 communities participating in the NFIP in South Dakota. Visit FEMA’s Community Status Report for a list of communities.

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 home site and the lowest flood of the building (including basement or garage) is above the BFE, we can amend the map to remove the home site 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.

To 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 through FEMA.

Most people think they can’t get flood insurance, but every homeowner, business owner and renter in a community that participates in the NFIP may purchase a flood insurance policy. In fact, 25% of all flood damages occur in low risk zones, commonly described as being outside the mapped flood zone.

Enter your address in FEMA’s interactive flood hazard map to find flood documents and where the nearest flood hazard zone is located. Then talk to your insurance agent about plan options.

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