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Federal Flood Insurance Program

All cities and towns in Santa Clara County participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NFIP provides federally-backed flood insurance to communities that enact and enforce floodplain regulations. For more information about flood insurance or to look up your own address, visit FEMA’s website at

As part of its flood insurance program, FEMA has developed a Community Rating System (CRS), which rewards communities that practice proactive flood management and educational activities above and beyond the minimum requirements of the NFIP. The reward is an across-the-board reduction in insurance premiums for residents and businesses in a participating community. The size of the reduction is dependent on the number of CRS-creditable activities that can be documented by your community.

More than ten years ago, the Santa Clara Valley Water District entered into a unique partnership with FEMA’s CRS program to document the proactive flood management activities that would provide CRS credit. The points obtained through the district’s documented activities apply to any city or town in Santa Clara County that participates in the CRS. Activities that individual municipalities conduct can qualify for additional CRS points, and even greater savings on insurance premiums.

The district’s flood management and flood awareness programs have qualified for a minimum 5% discount on annual flood insurance premiums. That’s a yearly savings of about $60 for a typical home, or up to $1 million saved per year, countywide.

The district is excited to be a partner in this program. It is simple for all cities and towns in Santa Clara County to participate in the CRS program. The district has made participation easy, by pre-qualifying all cities and towns in the county with credits for the district’s county-wide activities. By becoming an active participant in the CRS program, each city or town can net even more savings for its residents and businesses.

In the future...

Points for each participating community are re-verified each year by CRS representatives. For as long as the district is able to continue to provide its current outstanding level of flood protection and education services, we will continue to verify a minimum of 500 CRS points for the citizens of Santa Clara County each year.

The district has always advocated that individual cities engage in activities that provide a greater degree of protection for all citizens. There are many things that each community can do to better prepare for and manage floods, accrue points in the CRS, further reduce flood insurance premiums, and prepare and protect its citizens from the damaging effects of floods.

The district encourages all cities and towns to join CRS because of the economic benefits to the members of our community, and because it will heighten the flood hazard awareness and promote good floodplain management activities within the community.

Find out more about your community’s participation in CRS

Some cities already participate in the CRS program, but several cities and towns in Santa Clara County do not. To find out if your community participates in the CRS program, and what class you are rated at, you can check FEMA's most recent information here.

If you want to find out more information about your community’s participation in CRS, report flooding or blocked storm drains, call your city’s flood information personnel. Click here for city phone numbers.