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Floods: Local Government
This section covers the basic responsibilities of local governments participating in the NFIP and provides resources for local floodplain management programs.

Local Government Responsibilities
1996 Flood
Participation in the NFIP by local government ensures that individuals and businesses in your jurisdiction are able to purchase federally-backed flood insurance. This flood insurance would otherwise not be readily available to those in your jurisdiction nor to the local government for that matter.
In addition, participation on the NFIP addresses the requirements of statewide planning Goal 7 with respect to flood hazards.
Of course, participation in the NFIP means that your local government must adopt and enforce floodplain management measures that meet minimum FEMA standards. Specific duties of local governments include but are not limited to:
  • Requiring permits for all floodplain development (any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations located within the area of special flood hazard)
  • Reviewing building permit applications for new construction and substantial improvements within the floodplain and ensuring that specific measures (e.g., elevation, anchoring, floodproofing, installation of flood vents, breakaway walls, etc.) are taken to avoid or reduce flood damage.
  • Obtaining Elevation and Flood-proofing Certifications for new development and substantial improvements to existing developments
  • Ensuring that encroachments into the floodway portion of the 100-year floodplain are prohibited if there would be any increase in flood levels.
  • Notifying permit applicants that other state and federal permits may be required (for example, wetland fill permits, permits for work in navigable waterways, etc.) and ensuring that the applicant obtains required state and federal permits.
  • Maintaining permit records and related materials and ensuring that these documents are available for public, state, and FEMA inspection
  • Educating local citizens about local flood hazards and local floodplain regulations

Resources for Local Floodplain Management Programs
The following links and documents are provided to assist local governments with implementation of their floodplain management programs:
For more information about specific NFIP requirements, FEMA/NFIP forms, NFIP tutorials, and FEMA Technical Bulletins, see also the Property Owners and Developers section and the Technical Information page.
If you cannot find what you are looking for, then please contact Chris Shirley.

Risk MAP Program
In 2004 Oregon embarked on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationwide, five-year initiative called Map Modernization (Map Mod), designed to update the nation’s aging floodplain maps.  A large percentage of Oregon’s maps, many of them created in the 1980’s and earlier, had never been updated and suffered significantly from out-of-date base data, coarse elevation topography, and out-dated engineering analysis that made some maps nearly useless.  DLCD, as the state’s lead agency for administration of the NFIP in Oregon, developed a business plan and led Oregon’s participation in the objectives of Map Mod.
FEMA’s Map Modernization Program officially ended in 2010.  In Oregon, 19 counties and 154 communities have been converted to a FEMA approved all-digital, county-wide format.   (Washington and Tillamook County projects have been delayed and will be completed the later part of 2012).  Ninety-two percent of the state’s population is covered by a modernized flood hazard map.
FEMA’s Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment, and Planning) continues where Map Mod ended.  This new 5-year program has a broader and more holistic approach, emphasizing not just the delivery of accurate maps but working with communities to understand the causes of flooding and help with mitigation strategies. 

The vision for Risk MAP is “to deliver—through collaboration with State, local, and tribal entities—quality data that increase public awareness and lead to mitigation actions that reduce risk to life and property.”
To reach this goal, FEMA is transforming its traditional flood identification and mapping efforts into a more integrated process of accurately identifying, assessing, communicating, planning, and mitigating flood-related risks. Risk MAP addresses gaps in flood hazard data to form a solid foundation for risk assessment and floodplain management, and to provide State, local, and tribal entities with information needed to mitigate flood-related risks.

DLCD sponsors the Oregon Risk MAP website
This FEMA-sponsored resource is intended to provide information about FEMA’s various activities in Oregon, including floodplain and mapping issues, project status, and links to other agency partners for audiences interested in all aspects of natural hazards. While still under development and evolving, this website currently is focused on:
  • A description of Risk MAP and our plan on how it will evolve in Oregon
  • An overview of FEMA flood mapping by county, including an interactive map that  allows the user to zoom to their neighbourhood to view the “100-year flood” zone
  • Preliminary information for new projects
  • Information downloads, including files for Google Earth (KML)  and Flood Insurance Studies
  • A calendar of events
Risk MAP concerns the community, making maps and information available in a way that that makes sense, is understandable, and is usable.