Using GIS for Community Rating System Accreditation (CRS)

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The City of Lake Forest recently went through an accreditation
process for the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating
System (CRS). CRS is a national program developed by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a guide to assist communities with
designing or improving their floodplain management programs. Improving
floodplain management within a community can result in discounted flood
insurance premiums. CRS consists of a rating system that allots credits
for completing flood management related activities, with a community’s
rating determining the percentage of the premium discount. The more
activities completed, and the higher the quality with which they are
completed, the larger the impact on a community’s rating.

Engineering and Geographic Information System (GIS) staff
collaborated to establish the city’s rating by completing different
activities and projects required for the CRS review. Fulfilled projects
include calculating floodplain and open space acreage and creating an
online floodplain map accessible to city residents.

Having access to the aforementioned resources enabled these projects
to be completed quickly and accurately. By using GIS, the City of Lake
Forest gained a higher accreditation rating within the CRS program.
This higher rating will result in city residents experiencing a more
significant reduction in their flood insurance rates.