Flood maps inform communities about the local flood risk and help set minimum floodplain standards for communities to build safely and resiliently. They determine the cost of flood insurance, which helps property owners to financially protect themselves against flooding. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium will be. Flood maps are also the basis for flood insurance rates through the National Flood Insurance Program. The process for developing and updating flood maps allows FEMA to work with state, tribal and local governments and communities and property owners at all steps of the process to incorporate the best available data into each community’s flood maps.
Recent updates to the national flood mapping program enable the agency to receive recommendations from the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) to assist FEMA in continuing to manage the program using technically credible and scientific practices in identifying flood risk. The Council will also advise on the improved practices used to ensure property owners may be notified of the mapping model that will be used to map their flood risk and help determine their rates. The law also allows 30 days for public comment on the model and issue of any new maps. Property owners may also appeal and receive reimbursement for a successful appeal of certain maps. Communities will not be charged for map reissue due to habitat restoration projects, dam removal, culvert re-design or installation or the installation of fish passages.
FEMA must notify Members of Congress when constituents in their district/state will be affected by a flood mapping update. In accordance with these requirements, FEMA Congressional Affairs Division distributes Notices to Congress each month. To view these notices and find out more about mapping updates nationwide, you may visit: http://www.fema.gov/risk-mapping-assessment-planning.
The law allows 30 days for public comment on the model and issue of any new maps. Property owners may also appeal and receive reimbursement for a successful appeal of certain maps. And, communities will not be charged for map reissue due to habitat restoration projects, dam removal, culvert re-design or installation or the installation of fish passages.
To find out more about the national flood mapping program and view maps and map projects in progress, visit http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-flood-hazard-mapping.