What is a critical facility?

The official definition for critical facilities in the CRS is:

Critical Facility: A structure or other improvement that, because of its function, size, service area, or uniqueness, has the potential to cause serious bodily harm, extensive property damage, or disruption of vital socioeconomic activities if it is destroyed or damaged or if its functionality is impaired. Critical facilities include health and safety facilities, utilities, government facilities and hazardous materials facilities. For the purposes of a local regulation, a community may also use the International Codes’ definition for Category III and IV buildings.

Your emergency manager should have a list of your community’s critical facilities. If not, there are usually two kinds of facilities that a community would consider “critical” during and after a flood:

  • Those that are vital to flood response activities or critical to the health and safety of the public before, during, and after a flood, such as a hospital, emergency operations center, electric substation, police stations, fire stations, nursing homes, schools, vehicle and equipment storage facilities, or shelters.
  • Those that, if flooded, would make the flood problem and its impacts much worse, such as a hazardous materials facility, power generation facility, water utilities, or wastewater treatment plant.