Flood Mitigation Resources

Bluebelt Program: 

The Bluebelt program is a Floodplain Management initiative to guide strategic flood mitigation decisions. The goal of Bluebelt is to reduce the risk of flood hazards to life & property by promoting and restoring natural floodplain functions. The may be achieved by created connected area for flood storage or conveyance. These projects can provide additional community benefits such as recreation, habitat restoration, and improved water quality. Projects undertaken to meet these goals include property acquisition and demolition, relocation, and easement acquisition.

The Bluebelt program prioritizes flood mitigation projects according to a number of criteria, including:

  • Repetitive flood loss
  • Substantial damage
  • Facilitates the creation of green-space 
  • Increasing stormwater storage capacity or transport
  • Adjacent to wetlands
  • Adjacent to parks, schools, or other public space

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Resources:

FEMA’s HMA grant opportunities are the primary source of funding assistance for the City’s flood mitigation projects. Grant programs under the HMA include:

Property Acquisition FAQ

The Value of Mitigation to your Community


If your building has sustained flood damages and you are interested in property acquisition, please contact Caroline Schnell at schnellc@charleston-sc.gov for information on FEMA Acquisition Grants. The City of Charleston does not anticipate applying for Elevation Grants in the upcoming grant cycle.

Please review the Participation Letter, and complete all enclosed documents.  Upon receipt, the City will determine the eligibility of your project. Your personal information is protected by the Federal Privacy Act of 1974 and will be held confidentially by City staff.

Participation Letter

Required Forms for Submission

Submission packages must be sent by mail, email or fax to: 

Caroline Schnell
Floodplain Management
2 George Street, Suite 2100
Charleston, SC 29401

Fax: 843-724 - 7198  
Attn: Caroline Schnell

Please note that submittal of the participation package does not guarantee inclusion in the City’s grant applications or that your project will receive mitigation assistance funds. The number of properties that may be included in the City’s applications is limited and the City’s applications will be reviewed competitively against applications from other applicants in South Carolina and the United States. The review and award of these grant applications requires considerable ongoing coordination between the property owner, the City, State agencies, and FEMA, and there is no guaranteed timeline for completion of projects included in the applications.

Public Notices:

  1. 2019 FMA Grant Application
  2. 2019 FMA Grant Application- Elevation

Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Coverage:

Following substantial damage due to flooding, your building may be required to meet the currently effective flood design standards. To assist with the cost of meeting these requirements, Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage is available to those eligible through the National Flood Insurance Program.

  • Building owner is eligible following a substantial damage determination of a NFIP insured building
  • Provides a one time payment of up to $30,000
  • Can be received in addition to insurance claim payment for damages
  • Can be received in addition to HMA funding

FEMA Publications

  1. Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, FEMA-347 (2000)
  2. Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program, F-084 (2011)
  3. Coastal Construction Manual, FEMA-P-55, (2011)
  4. Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA-54 (1984)
  5. Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA P-85 (2009)
  6. Mitigation of Flood and Erosion Damage to Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas, FEMA-257 (1994)
  7. Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage, FEMA-P-348 (1999)
  8. Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268 (1996)
  9. Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 511 (2005)

Copies also available through Charleston County Public Libraries

Charleston Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan:

Contact Us

Caroline Schnell

Floodplain Manager
Phone: 843-579-6481

Sarah Mardon

Floodplain Management Technician
Phone: 843-579-6471

Kinsey Holton, CFM 

Stormwater Regulatory Practice Leader
Phone: 843-724-3757