Floodplains

Floodplain management occurs in order to:

  • Protect people and property. Floodplain management is about reducing vulnerability to flood risk to our built environment. If we know low lying land will flood from time to time, we should make reasonable decisions to help protect our families, homes, and businesses.
  • Make sure that federal flood insurance is available. If your home or business is in the floodplain and federal flood insurance isn’t available, you may not be eligible for some federal business loans and grants or for some types of federal financial assistance. Mortgages may be hard to find. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides flood insurance policies that businesses and homeowners purchase through their local insurance agent. To participate in the NFIP, Merriam must adopt floodplain maps, ordinances, and controls.
  • Save tax dollars. Every time you hear about a flood disaster, think about what it means to the town’s budget. If we build smart, we’ll have fewer problems the next time the river rises. Remember, federal disaster assistance doesn’t kick in for all floods. And, even when the President declares a disaster, your community still has to pay a portion of repair and clean up costs and could also incur some evacuation expenses. 
  • Reduce future flood losses. Floodplain development regulations are simply a “good neighbor” policy designed to protect our residents from future flood losses. Regulating floodplain development helps keep flooding conditions from getting worse as development continues.

 

National Flood Insurance Program

Merriam participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), which is a voluntary program of the NFIP. Through the CRS, Merriam is undertaking floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP floodplain management requirements. This earns reductions in our residents' flood insurance premiums, resulting in more affordable flood insurance.

By applying a whole community approach to floodplain management, the CRS contributes to community resilience, increased insurance coverage, public safety, and the protection of floodplain natural functions. These benefits are evident in participating communities and collectively nationwide. 

Am I required to have flood insurance?

  • Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with government-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance.
  • While flood insurance is not federally required if you live outside of the high-risk area, your lender may still require you to have insurance.
  • If you live in a high-risk flood area and have received federal disaster assistance – including grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) – you must maintain flood insurance in order to be considered for any future federal disaster aid.

 

Is your home or business in a floodplain?

Check on the Johnson County online mapping website, AIMS.

Apply here(PDF, 146KB)