The Community Rating System

Reduced Flood Insurance 

FEMA offers two programs that promote flood hazard mitigation planning: The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); and the Community Rating System (CRS). These programs provide benefits in the form of reduced flood insurance costs for communities that meet minimum requirements for flood plain management. Thurston County voluntarily participates in both the NFIP and the CRS. As of November 2016, there are 723 flood insurance policies in force with nearly $176 million in total combined coverage in unincorporated Thurston County.

The goals of the CRS program are to:

  1. Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property
  2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
  3. Foster comprehensive flood plain management

What is Thurston County’s CRS rating?

The CRS program uses a 10 (low) to 1 (high) rating system. When Thurston County joined the CRS program in 2000, it was initially rated a Class 5 community resulting in a 25% flood insurance discount for policy holders. In October 2016, the county received a Class 2 rating. This equates to a 40% discount on flood insurance premiums for properties within the 100-year special flood hazard area (SFHA) and a 10 percent discount in non-SFHAs within unincorporated Thurston County.  Thurston County is one of only six jurisdictions in the nation to achieve this rating.  In 2017, flood insurance policyholders in unincorporated Thurston County will save a combined $125,000 on flood insurance premiums (based on premiums paid in 2016).

Thurston County's Rating since CRS program participation in 2000

Date Class % Discount % Discoutn in non-SFHA
Prior to enrollment 10 0 0
October 1, 2000-2013 5 25 10
October 1, 2013 4 30 10
October 1, 2016 2 40 10

What other local jurisdictions participate in the CRS program?

No other jurisdictions in Thurston County participate in the CRS Program. Neighboring communities have CRS ratings as follows:
  • City of Bellevue, Class 5
  • City of Centralia, Class 6
  • City of Chehalis, Class 6
  • City of Orting, Class 5
  • City of Renton, Class 5
  • City of Westport, Class 8
  • Clark County, Class 5
  • King County, Class 2
  • Lewis County, Class 6
  • Pierce County, Class 2

How does a community earn its rating?

A community accrues points to improve its CRS Class rating and can receive increasingly higher discounts. Points are awarded for engaging in any of 19 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
  • Public information
  • Mapping and regulations
  • Flood damage reduction
  • Warning and response.
Formulas and adjustment factors are used to calculate credit points for each activity. Thurston County must update its Flood Hazards Mitigation Plan every five years to maintain its distinctive rating.

View the Federal Emergency Management Agency Community Rating System Fact Sheet

For specific questions about Thurston County’s CRS Program activities and credit, contact:

Mark Biever
CRS Coordinator
Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development
Water and Hazards Data Services Lead

Contact Us

  1. Paul Brewster
    Senior Planner

    Thurston Regional Planning Council
    2411 Chandler Court SW
    Olympia, WA 98502
    Ph: 360-956-7575