The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System; Evaluating its functionality as a robust climate change adaptation strategy
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Climate impacts are increasing in frequency and severity. As a result there is growing demand in communities around the world for immediately actionable and scalable climate change adaptation solutions. Unfortunately, there are few examples of active, and successful, adaptation projects at the present time. One promising option in the United States is the extension and modification of existing programs such as the Community Rating System (CRS), a federal flood management program. Supplementing FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the CRS incentivizes communities to adopt advanced flood management practices in order to reduce community vulnerability. Informed by a review of pertinent literature, interviews, and public document analysis, this study examines whether the CRS can be used as a legitimate adaptation tool today, and in the future. Analysis suggests that the CRS, as currently structured, does not satisfy adaptation’s central definitions and goals. However, the program is capable of being used to broadly build community adaptive capacity. With some modifications (increased incorporation of climate science projections and greater attention to vulnerable populations), the CRS should successfully function as adaptation solution, and is a promising tool to grow large-scale climate resilience.
Ronneberg, Kristina (2014). The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System; Evaluating its functionality as a robust climate change adaptation strategy. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8492.
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