Through the NFIP, property owners in the City of Indianapolis are able to insure against flood losses. By employing wise floodplain management, a participating community can protect its citizens against much of the devastating financial loss resulting from flood disasters. Careful local management of development in the floodplains results in construction practices that can reduce flood losses and the high costs associated with flood disasters to all levels of government.
A community, as defined for the NFIP's purposes, is any State, area, or political subdivision; any Indian tribe, authorized tribal organization, or Alaska native village, or authorized native organization that has the authority to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances for the area under its jurisdiction. In most cases, a community is an incorporated city, town, township, borough, or village, or an unincorporated area of a county or parish. However, some States have statutory authorities that vary from this description.
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 allows FEMA to make flood insurance available only in those areas where the appropriate public body has adopted adequate floodplain management regulations for its flood-prone areas. Individual citizens cannot regulate building or establish construction priorities for communities. Without community oversight of building activities in the floodplain, the best efforts of some to reduce future flood losses could be undermined or nullified by the careless building of others. Unless the community as a whole is practicing adequate flood hazard mitigation, the potential for loss will not be reduced sufficiently to affect disaster relief costs. Insurance rates also would reflect the probable higher losses that would result without local floodplain management enforcement activities.
As a participant of the NFIP, the City of Indianapolis has adopted and enforces floodplain management standards. FEMA works closely with State and local officials to identify flood hazard areas and flood risks. The floodplain management requirements within the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are designed to prevent new development from increasing the flood threat and to protect new and existing buildings from anticipated flood events. Permits are required for all new and redevelopment in the SFHA. The floodplain management standards for the City of Indianapolis can be found in the Flood Control District Zoning Ordinance Chapter 735: Other Districts "Flood Control". This ordinance and enforcement procedures meets the NFIP requirements.