Joining the Community Rating System

Application for a Community Rating System (CRS) classification is voluntary. A community can request a CRS classification at any time provided that

  1. The community can meet all of the responsibilities listed under “Community Responsibilities” and
  2. The credit points add up to at least 500 points, enough to become a Class 9.

Two application items are needed to request a CRS classification. Both items can be submitted digitally to the ISO/CRS Specialist. Letters needing signatures should be scanned and sent as PDF files. Communities must provide

(1) A letter of interest that

  • States that the community is interested in joining the CRS,
  • Designates the community’s CRS Coordinator, and
  • States that the community will cooperate with the verification process. The letter is signed by the community’s chief executive officer (CEO). Click here to download a sample letter as a Microsoft Word file.

(2) Documentation showing that the community is implementing activities that warrant at least 500 points. This can be done by using the CRS Quick Check.

Note that the ISO/CRS Specialist will check with the FEMA Regional Office to receive approval to visit the community and verify the creditable activities. The Regional Office must have reason to believe that the community is or can be in full compliance with the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. Approval of this visit is not the same as a letter of full compliance that is needed from the Regional Office after a Community Assistance Visit is conducted. It is only approval for ISO to start the application process.

Once the two application materials are submitted, the Quick Check shows that 500 or more points are likely, and the Regional Office approves the visit, the ISO/CRS Specialist will schedule the initial verification visit with the community. At this visit, each activity likely to receive credit is reviewed in detail and the credits are verified by the ISO/CRS Specialist. A separate Community Assistance Visit may be conducted by FEMA or the State, before or after the application documents can be processed by ISO.

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