The Howard County Department of Public Works Bureau of Environmental Services submitted its annual Community Rating System (CRS) recertification to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To participate in the CRS, communities confirm annually that they are performing the necessary flood mitigation efforts to uphold the current rating status for flood insurance premiums.

Those efforts are reviewed in greater detail every five years when the county prepares and submits a full reapplication to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the NFIP.

Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums may be discounted based on community actions that help reduce flood damage to insurable property, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and demonstrate a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

Participating communities must undertake some or all of 19 public information and floodplain management activities reflected on the federal checklist. The CRS assigns points for each of those activities. Once the County achieves certain point totals, homeowners in the designated floodplains become eligible for discounts on their flood insurance.

Howard County achieved an upgrade to Class 6 in 2018 based on improvements in several areas including:

● Outreach projects

●  Open space preservation

●  Floodplain management planning

●  Flood protection information

●  Map information service

● Higher regulatory standards for construction

With the upgrade county homeowners who live in a federally recognized Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are eligible for a 20 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums. Certain policies for homeowners not in a SFHA are eligible for a 10 percent discount.

Howard County homeowners who want to know if they are located in a special flood hazard area can log on to for more information; to learn more about FEMA’s Community Rating System and to download brochures about the program, visit

A copy of the most recent annual re-certification is available upon request from the county.