Flood Zones and CRS Information

The Community Rating System (CRS) is an incentive program that encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) requirements. Flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:

  • Reduce flood losses
  • Facilitate accurate insurance rating
  • Promote the awareness of flood insurance

Bay County's Rating

In February of 2004, the Board of County Commissioners established the Bay County CRS Strategy Team to develop a course of action that would improve Bay County's rating. Implementation of a public awareness outreach program earned Bay County a class 7 rating, which provides for a 15% discount on flood insurance premiums. In 2008 Bay County increased their level of outreach programs and other activities and has improved their rating to a class 5. This increased Bay County residents' discount to 25%. In the last cycle evaluation conducted in 2013, Bay County retained a Class 5 rating. The next cycle evaluation is scheduled for June 2016.

2016 Community Rating System Progress Report

View the CRS Progress Report (PDF). Bay County is prone to flood hazards associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, and rainfall with high intensity or duration. Due to historic development patterns, the County's population is largely clustered along the coast, meaning that, these hazards have the potential to seriously impact the safety of the general population and their property. The County has taken a number of measures to plan for such hazards, including participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System. 

The Bay County Hazard Mitigation Strategy was initially adopted by the Bay County Board of County Commissioners on November 18, 1999 and has served as the Floodplain Management Plan since that time. The Plan was revised and adopted in late 2005 to ensure compliance with the Disaster Mitigation Act 2000 and additional CRS planning requirements. This document was completely updated in 2015 with a new floodplain management plan component. Copies of the Bay County Hazard Mitigation Strategy are available at the Bay County Emergency Operations Center, the Bay County Development Services Department, and the main branch of the Bay County Public Library on West 11th Street.

Plan Overview

Elements listed in Bay County's Hazard Mitigation Strategy provide cornerstones for floodplain management in a rapidly developing coastal community.

  • Reducing property damage
  • Protecting public assets
  • Building safely and carefully in vulnerable areas
  • Encouraging responsible growth in coastal areas

2016 Mid-Year Status of the CRS Program

Although there were no major storms or rain events, the County did have a slight increase in repetitive loss properties in 2015. For CRS purposes, repetitive loss properties are defined as any property that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid two or more flood claims of $1,000 or more in any given 10 year period. The County will continue to strengthen measures to minimize the potential loss of life and property should there be such an occurrence. Specifically, the County will undertake a review of its building code and standards in vulnerable shoreline areas, expand and intensify its public outreach and education programs, partner with other organizations, and mitigate for potential flooding resulting from stormwater runoff.