Floodplain Management

About Floodplain Management

Floodplain management is the operation of a community program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage. These measures take a variety of forms and generally include requirements for zoning, subdivision or building, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances.

A community's agreement to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances, particularly with respect to new construction, is an important element in making flood insurance available to home and business owners within the community. The City of Dothan voluntarily adopted and continually enforces local floodplain management ordinances that provide flood loss reduction building standards for new and existing development.

The National Flood Insurance Program

The Flood Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The three components of the NFIP are:

  • Flood Insurance
  • Floodplain Management
  • Flood Hazard Mapping

The City of Dothan participates in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners within the City of Dothan. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary.

Flood Insurance Coverage

Flood insurance is designed to provide an alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year in the U.S. through communities implementing sound floodplain management requirements and property owners purchasing of flood insurance. Additionally, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance.

In addition to providing flood insurance and reducing flood damages through floodplain management regulations, the NFIP identifies and maps the Nation's floodplains. Mapping flood hazards creates broad-based awareness of the flood hazards and provides the data needed for floodplain management programs and to actuarially rate new construction for flood insurance.

FEMA Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program (PDF)

Risk Mapping, Assessment & Planning (MAP)

FEMAs Risk MAP builds on the success of flood map modernization. It emphasizes a broader, more holistic approach to perform engineering and mapping analyses on a watershed basis and encourages work across community boundaries and a more comprehensive understanding of flooding.

Risk MAP is characterized by a full alignment of FEMAs programs – discovering local needs, mapping with better data, working with community representatives in assessing risk and vulnerability – with planning and mitigation considerations throughout.

Alabama's Floodplain Management Program has benefited from a strong partnership with FEMA in updating flood maps and assisting local communities. Since partnering with FEMA in 2003 to conduct flood studies and create flood maps, they have successfully completed studies and digitally mapped all 67 counties, studying over 1,050 miles of streams using detail methods and 30,000 miles of streams using approximate methods. The additional information gained and increased accuracy of the existing information has allowed the Floodplain Management Program to become a better partner with local developers, state emergency management agencies and first responders.

(Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) 

Important links & documents

FEMA - Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning

Risk Map Fact Sheet (PDF)

Risk Map Brochure (PDF)