Evaluating the Effectiveness of Local Mitigation Activities in Reducing Flood Losses Academic Article uri icon


  • In an effort to counteract mounting flood losses, FEMA introduced the Community Rating System (CRS) in 1990 as a way to encourage local jurisdictions to exceed the National Flood Insurance Program's minimum standard for floodplain management. While the program has grown since its inception, there is little understanding of the degree to which mitigation activities have reduced flood-related losses to buildings and their contents over time. The effectiveness gap is addressed through the longitudinal statistical analysis of 450 CRS-participating communities. For each selected community, CRS point totals are tracked on a yearly basis over an 11-year study period from 1999 to 2009 and their impacts on insured loss claim payments based on claim type and floodplain location are tested. Results indicate that three CRS activities, freeboard requirements, open space protection, and flood protection, significantly reduce flood damage. 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Highfield, W. E., & Brody, S. D.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Highfield, Wesley E||Brody, Samuel D

publication date

  • December 2013