National Flood Insurance Program
July 15, 1998
Circular No. 11071

To Officers in Charge of Consumer Compliance, at All State Member Banks in the Second Federal Reserve District:

New booklet

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") has published a new version of Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program. The following is from FEMA's announcement of the new publication:

The 63-page booklet last updated in 1987, is designed to provide the public with basic information about flood insurance and how to obtain it.

The document addresses all facets of the National Flood Insurance Program ("NFIP") administered by the Federal Insurance Administration, a part of FEMA. It includes sections on flood insurance requirements for property owners, details of coverage, procedures for filing claims, and community requirements involving floodplain management, flood hazard assessments and mapping.

The new version reflects changes mandated by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, which increased coverage ceilings, extended the waiting period before new policies become effective and strengthened lender compliance rules, among other provisions.

In addition to answering the most frequently asked questions about flood insurance, the booklet lists other NFIP publications, addresses and telephone numbers of NFIP and FEMA regional offices and state coordinating agencies, and sources of technical data and materials including floodplain management studies, flood insurance rate maps, and flood mitigation guidelines for individuals and communities.

Copies of Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program (FIA-2/November 1997, Inventory #084) may be ordered by contacting the FEMA Distribution Facility, 8231 Stayton Drive, Jessup, Md. 20794; Telephone : I-800-480-2520; Fax: (301) 497-6378.

Changes in form

FEMA has also issued a final rule removing from its regulations the appendix that contains the Standard Flood Hazard Determination form. This removal enables the agency to incorporate changes to the form outside of the rulemaking process. The rule also provides information on how to obtain copies of the form by written request, through fax-on-demand and through FEMA's Internet site. FEMA's notice of the rule as published in the Federal Register of May 21, 1998 is available  as a file (pdf - 21kb).

Also published in the Federal Register of  May 21, 1998 as a   file (pdf - 76kb) is FEMA's notice requesting comments on proposed changes to the Standard Flood Hazard Determination form. The comment period ends on July 20. Comments should be sent to FEMA's Rules Docket Clerk, as specified in the Federal Register notice.

Questions on these matters may be directed, at this Bank, to Janice A. Oser, Examining Officer, Compliance Examinations Department.