Tool Kit

Floodplain Information

Here, you will find interactive mapping services from both federal and state level emergency management authorities. Map graphics and GIS shapefile data can be downloaded from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website. The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) website is more user friendly, providing Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and a redirect to more information on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The RI Coastal Resources Management Council has compiled sea level rise and storm surge maps that can be viewed and downloaded at their website.

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)
RIEMA | Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency
CRMC | RI Coastal Resources Management Council


The RIEMA (Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency) website gives a good overview of the National Flood Insurance Program, and states the towns in RI that qualify for the Community Rating System (CRS), which recognizes a community’s efforts to exceed the NFIP standards. This CRS helps to provide lower insurance rates, enhanced public safety, and reduction to damage to public infrastructure among other things. The towns that currently qualify are Bristol, Charlestown, East Providence, Middletown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, and Westerly.

RIEMA Insurance

Also included is a link to the NFIPs website, which gives info about the National Flood Insurance Program for residential and commercial coverage, and also includes an interactive tool that demonstrates the cost of home flooding.

FEMA Floodsmart

Disaster Resiliency

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a nonprofit organization that conducts building safety research which aims to strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters. They have created a set of programs for homes and businesses simply called Fortified. Property owners involved in this program a Fortified Designation certificate (good for 5 years) that can be submitted to an insurance company to receive applicable discounts or credits where available.

IBHS | Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

Green Infrastructure

Here is the crash course in Stormwater Management 101. Learn what you can do as a property owner to help reduce stormwater runoff that can exacerbate flooding and waterbody pollution during severe rain events.

GIC | Green Infrastructure Coalition
EPA Green Infrastructure Wizard 
Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions 

Design Guidelines

Coastal communities across the country are developing design guidelines for the sensitive adaptations needed to flood proof, elevate, or screen historic properties from the effects of sea level rise and flooding. Newport’s Policy Statement and Design Guidelines for Elevating Historic Buildings was one of the earliest set of these guidelines in the country, and sets standards for how vulnerable buildings within the Newport Historic District can be elevated.

Newport’s Design Guidelines for Elevating Historic Buildings