Floodplain Management Program
The Maine Floodplain Management Program works with communities and building professionals to reduce the risk of flooding.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The program helps communities participating in or interested in joining the NFIP by providing technical information, floodplain maps, and model ordinances. The program offers workshops on how to read and use flood maps, interpret ordinances, and administer floodplain management requirements. Program staff also review local ordinances for compliance with the NFIP standards. Staff also provides information about flooding or the NFIP to: homeowners, businesses, lenders, realtors, surveyors, engineers, and others.
Community Rating System
The more a community does toward good floodplain management, the more points they can get toward reducing the flood insurance premiums for its citizens. For each 500 points earned, the community qualifies for a 5% reduction in the premiums paid by its citizens who purchase flood insurance. There are 18 activities that communities can do to reduce the flood risk in their town. Program staff can assist communities with qualifying for premium reductions through the Community Rating System (CRS). These services are also available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Office in Boston, as well as from the regional councils across the state.
Community Assistance Program
The Community Assistance Program (CAP) is a product-oriented, financial assistance program for states that is directly related to the flood loss reduction objectives of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CAP is intended to identify, prevent, and resolve floodplain management issues in participating communities before they develop into problems requiring enforcement action. A large component of CAP involves technical assistance, outreach, and training.
The program works with other state agencies to ensure that development under state review is designed and developed to reduce future flood damages. For example, the program works with the Department of Economic & Community Development by reviewing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) in reviewing development under the provisions of the Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) and the site location law.
Flood Hazard Mitigation/Mitigation Assistance Program
Flood hazard mitigation lessens the impact disasters have on people’s lives and property. Mitigation is accomplished through measures such as engineering and building structures to withstand flooding, creating and enforcing effective building codes to protect property from floods, hurricanes and other natural hazards, and removing homes from within the floodplain altogether. Mitigation is the cornerstone of emergency management. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides financial assistance to states to develop and maintain a comprehensive, statewide hazard mitigation capability for the purpose of implementing pre- and post-disaster mitigation.
A new initiative and integral part of the mitigation function is the concept of sustainability. Sustainability is development or re-development that maintains or enhances economic opportunity and community well-being while respecting, protecting, and restoring the natural environment upon which people and economies depend. Sustainable re-development is simply the application of the concepts and practices of sustainable development to the disaster recovery process.
The accuracy of flood maps is important for determining appropriate flood insurance rates and local and state permits, and because lending institutions rely on them when deciding to grant loans (or not to grant loans) for structures located in the floodplain. The Maine Map Modernization Program is a federally-funded initiative to update, remap, and digitize the country’s flood hazard areas. The goal for the program is to use local knowledge to create a more accurate digital product that will improve floodplain management across the country. The updating will occur first in those communities meeting flood risk thresholds based upon population and numbers of structures at risk. Additional communities will be remapped as federal funding becomes available.