Flood Damage Reduction

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) established a federally backed flood insurance program and flood damage reduction regulations in 1968. Communities participating in the NFIP must adopt certain land use regulations for identified floodplain areas to make flood insurance from the federal government available to their residents. These regulations establish minimum flood protection standards for buildings and other types of development in identified floodplains. These minimum standards require structures to be flood proofed or elevated above base flood elevations, anchoring of structures, and prohibit fill in floodways unless a property owner can verify that the base flood elevations will not be increased. In 2006 Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Model Flood Damage Reduction Regulations were revised, and they were approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for adoption and implementation in participating NFIP communities.


Communities must have up to date flood damage reduction regulations to participate in the NFIP. Because floodplain maps are currently being updated in Ohio, the new "Effective Date" for communities' floodplain maps must be revised in their flood damage reduction regulations. Communities have six months from the effective date of their updated map to revise their regulations. ODNR must review and approve any revisions. While communities are updating their floodplain regulations they may also consider incorporating higher standards. Higher standards are more conservative than the minimum federal standards, that when implemented, can reduce the potential of flood damage. These standards include, but are not limited to:

  • Two Foot Freeboard: protects structures against damage from flood heights greater than base flood elevations.
  • Fill Restrictions: provide standards for compaction and slopes for any fill in floodplains.
  • Foundation Design Guidelines: ensure proper design and construction of foundations to protect structural integrity.


CRWP can assist communities in considering incorporating higher standards into their flood damage reduction regulations. Please direct your questions to CRWP staff at (440) 975-3870.