The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides federally backed flood insurance that encourages communities to enact and enforce floodplain regulations. To be covered by a flood insurance policy, a property must be in a community that participates in the NFIP. Baldwin County has been participants since 1978 and currently holds a Class 6 Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) grade for One & Two Family dwellings and Commercial & Industrial buildings.
Under the Community Rating System (CRS), there is an incentive for communities to do more than just regulate construction of new buildings to minimum national standards. Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums are adjusted to reflect community activities that reduce flood damage to existing buildings, manage development in areas not mapped by the NFIP, protect new buildings beyond the minimum NFIP protection level, help insurance agents obtain flood data, and help people obtain flood insurance.
The objective of the CRS program is to reward communities that are doing more than meeting the minimum NFIP requirements to help citizens prevent or reduce flood losses. The goal of the CRS program is to encourage, by the use of flood insurance premiums adjustments, community and state activities beyond those required by the NFIP.
Baldwin County has voluntarily participated in the Community System Program since 1994 and as a result has reduced flood insurance policies 10% for flood prone areas, and 5% in areas not designated as flood prone.
Repetitive Loss Areas
According to information received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), unincorporated Baldwin County had 406 repetitive loss properties in 2006. A repetitive loss property is one for which two or more National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) losses of at least $1,000 each have been paid since 1978. Many of the repetitive loss properties coincide with hurricane events. The repetitive loss properties are located in several distinct geographic areas: Josephine/Perdido Beach, Ono Island, Fish River; Point Clear/Eastern Shore, Styx River and Bon Secour.
Property protection activities are usually undertaken by property owners on a building-by-building or parcel basis. They include: relocation, acquisition, building elevation, flood-proofing, sewer backup protection, and insurance.
Baldwin County has participated in the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program since Hurricane Opal. Since this time, Baldwin County has acquired several properties that were repetitive loss properties and assisted property owners in obtaining funds to elevate structures that were also considered as a repetitive loss property.
Public Information Activities
Baldwin County provides public information to advise property owners, potential property owners, and visitors about hazards, ways to protect people and property from the hazards, and the natural beneficial functions of floodplains. Activities include flood determinations and technical assistances, public outreach and education, and real estate disclosure.