National Flood Insurance Program

The U.S Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as protection against flood losses in exchange for state and community floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damages.

In California, approximately 99 percent of California communities participate in the NFIP. Of the participating communities, approximately 18 percent participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program, which encourages communities to go above and beyond minimum NFIP requirements.

DWR, on behalf of FEMA, conducts Community Assistance Visits (CAVs) and Community Assistance Contacts (CACs) to each of the NFIP communities to provide individual technical assistance. DWR provides statewide NFIP workshops that are designed to interpret and explain the NFIP regulations and to give an overview of the need for community-based floodplain management.  

DWR and FEMA conduct workshops for floodplain management agencies, including State and local officials. The workshops allow floodplain management officials to have a greater understanding of FEMA's minimum regulation requirements and how to meet them. DWR is scheduling the following workshops for 2018. Visit our registration page for a list of upcoming classes.

DWR developed California Model Floodplain Management Ordinances and accompanying Instructions and Notes as tools to help communities meet the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Also, DWR has also developed General Instructions for Higher Standards for Floodplain Management, along with guidance for specific higher standards. Communities choosing not to use a model ordinance must ensure their floodplain management ordinance meets the minimum requirements of the NFIP. Request copies of the ordinances, instructions, and other guidance by sending an email to

The Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) program was established in 1998 by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). The CFM program was established to provide a national baseline for testing competence in floodplain management. CFMs make a difference! They help reduce community liability, while also promoting safer development. They have the knowledge to reduce flood damage to their communities’ structures and insurance premiums. Becoming a CFM allows for professional and public recognition while also maintaining professional credibility. Learn more about the CFM program and the certification process.


Contact Information

Send us an email to request:
  • FEMA Planner and DWR Floodplain Management Specialist contact information
  • Model ordinance files
  • Upcoming training information

Email Us

Note: The ordinance files are being updated to meet ADA requirements and will be posted on this site when the process is complete.

Upcoming Workshops