National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is a Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. The City of Fredericksburg participates in the NFIP. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the Federal Government that states if a community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses.

Virginia's Floodplain Management Program: 

To address such problems, Virginia's General Assembly enacted the Virginia Flood Damage Reduction Act of 1989. This legislation was the result of several disastrous floods or coastal storms that hit the state between 1969 and 1985. To improve Virginia's flood protection programs and place related programs in one agency, responsibility for coordination of all state floodplain programs was transferred in 1987 from the Water Control Board to DCR. DCR was named manager of the state's floodplain program and designated coordinating agency of the National Flood Insurance Program under the act, §10.1-602 (PDF), and a governor's memorandum (PDF) released in July 1997.

Floodplain Management Program department staff works with localities to establish and enforce floodplain management zoning. Localities use the program's state model ordinances, in which minimum standards for local regulations are set, to write their own. Local governments can set more restrictive standards to ensure higher levels of protection for residents in flood hazard areas. Also, the state has used the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code to set construction standards for structures built in Federal Emergency Management Agency designated flood hazard areas.

Floodplain zoning regulates how development is allowed within floodplains. The program's main goal is to protect people and their property from unwise floodplain development. It also protects society from costs associated with developed floodplains.

The City's UDO addresses these standards in section 72-34.3, Floodplain Overlay District.

For information or questions contact Brian Cooke.

Additional Information:

National Flood Insurance Program

Dam Safety, Floodplain Management

Fact Sheet for Homeowners (PDF)

Answers to Questions about the NFIP (PDF)

Impact of NFIP Changes (PDF)

Questions about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (PDF)

FEMA Mapping