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In 2011, FEMA undertook a multi-year project to improve the way guidelines and standards are published, maintained and used. The final product of the first phase of work is the Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping, which comprises the standards for practitioners of the Risk MAP program.
The Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping outlines FEMA’s requirements to produce better overall consistency and more efficient operation of mapping activities. In the past, FEMA published guidelines and standards in single documents comprising a document library. In the new policy, the standards are published separately from guidance. The vast majority of these standards are ones that are already in place and existing, extracted from the existing guidelines and standards documents into standalone statements. At the high level, this transformation does not change the way the program operates. However, for practitioners working on Flood Risk Projects, there are a number of standards that are new or significantly changed.
The Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping represents the vision of the transformation processes and has set the stage for future updates and revisions. The new policy also includes mapping elements from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12). Many of the substantial reforms in BW12 are required to be implemented in coordination with the new Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC). The development and implementation of these additional changes will happen over the next several years as the TMAC makes its recommendations to FEMA.