Understanding Factors Affecting Participation of South Carolina Counties and Municipalities in FEMA's Community Rating System
Flooding is a pressing issue with wide-ranging economic, financial and human health effects in the United States. In order to encourage participation in its National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency created the voluntary, incentive-based Community Rating System program. Communities receive points based on floodplain management and mitigation activities that build resilience and flood capacity in order to reach levels of discounts on premiums on federally mandated flood insurance. The purpose of this research is to gather and analyze data in order to understand the factors affecting South Carolina counties’ decision to participate in the CRS, the characteristics of those communities, and to what extent they are willing to implement hazard mitigation efforts. The paper is based on a previous analysis of North Carolina counties, applying the hypotheses developed by the researchers to examine factors influencing decision-making in South Carolina. Data on Socioeconomic, Environmental and Risk control variables was included. Results indicate that historical flood experience and college educated residents are consistent predictors of increased likelihood of participation in the Community Rating System.