Every five years, towns that participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) undergo an audit of their floodplain program to ensure they are still participating in and enforcing those higher standards, outreach efforts, floodplain preservation actions, and other floodplain management activities to earn discounts on flood insurance for their residents.
This fall, Chatham and Wellfleet successfully concluded their five-year audits to remain in the program. Once the review of submitted documentation is complete in 2022, the towns will learn whether they have advanced in the program or maintained their existing status. Both towns currently earn a 10% discount.
The Community Rating System is a federal program within the National Flood Insurance Program that provides discounts on flood insurance to policyholders within communities that take advanced actions to improve flood resiliency. On the Cape, nine towns participate in the program (Brewster, Chatham, Eastham, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, and Wellfleet).
In Barnstable County, the CRS is managed on a regional basis by the Floodplain Specialist at Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. This regional program is the first of its kind in the nation and has won multiple national awards, as well as serving as the foundation for a federal Congressional bill introduced by Congressman Bill Keating in 2017 (the bill remains caught up in Continuing Resolution challenges with the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization).