City of Watsonville Community Rating System Program

Reaping the Rewards of Reducing Risks

Taking proactive steps to improving resilience, City of Watsonville officials enlisted Harris to improve the City’s Community Rating System Program (CRS) status.

According to FEMA, the CRS “recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program’s standards.” The program works on a sliding scale. The better the rating, the greater the reduction in insurance premiums for residents.

CRS-related activities can help reduce the City’s flood insurance premium rates by as much as 45%.

Core Elements

Harris is assisting the City with enhancing their Community Rating System (CRS) program by:

  • Providing recommendations for improvements to current CRS-creditable activities under the four categories within the CRS program;
    • Public information
    • Mapping and regulations
    • Flood damage reduction
    • Warning and response
  • Collaboration with City staff on the adoption of new, practical CRS activities geared towards addressing community-specific flood threats
  • Enhancing public safety and awareness through improvements to the City’s Floodplain Management program

Beyond the Blueprints

Improving the health and safety of communities in flood risk areas through the CRS program has multiple benefits to the community and the individual homeowners. The systematic process of improvements results in tangible flood insurance premium savings for the individual homeowner and improved resilience for the community to future catastrophic events including flooding. The CRS work produces improved documentation (maps, etc.) that guide and inform structural improvements to the City’s flood resilience in a data-driven way.

Meet the Team

Frank S. Lopez, PE, QSD

Frank S. Lopez, PE, QSD

Vice President / Engineering


City of Watsonville


Watsonville, CA


Planning + Development


Risk + Resilience
Advisory Services
Community Planning


Community Rating System