National Flood Insurance Program: Flood Hazard Mapping

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Flood Hazard Mapping

Through its Flood Hazard Mapping Program, FEMA identifies flood hazards, assesses flood risks and partners with states and communities to provide accurate flood hazard and risk data to guide them to mitigation actions. Flood Hazard Mapping is an important part of the National Flood Insurance Program, as it is the basis of the NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements.  FEMA maintains and updates data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and risk assessments.  FIRMs include statistical information such as data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses and rainfall and topographic surveys.  FEMA uses the best available technical data to create the flood hazard maps that outline your community’s different flood risk areas.

Click any of the links below to learn more about Flood Hazard Mapping: 

envelope icon Flood Hazard Mapping News e-mail updates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) maintains and updates the National Flood Insurance Program maps.

To keep up with the latest developments in Flood Hazard Mapping, please visit What's New in Flood Hazard Mapping. You can also sign up for e-mail updates using the "Flood Hazard Mapping News e-mail updates" link at the top of this page.

For more information you may e-mail or call a Map Specialist in the FEMA Map Information eXchange; toll free, at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627)

How to View and Obtain Flood Maps

You may view and order copies of the effective maps and other NFIP products through the Map Service Center. Your local Community Map Repository, usually located in the planning and zoning office, also has copies of flood maps. Please call the FEMA Map Information eXchange, toll free at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627), or e-mail a Map Specialist to determine the location of your Community Map Repository.

Change my Flood Zone Designation

If a property owner thinks their property has been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), they may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). A SFHA is defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. A LOMC reflects an official revision/amendment to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). If the LOMC request is granted, property owners may be eligible for lower flood insurance premiums or the option to not purchase flood insurance.

Applicants can now use the Online LOMC, an internet-based tool, to easily request a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). A LOMA is a letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land - that is on naturally high ground and has not been elevated by fill - would not be inundated by the base flood. This new tool is a convenient way for applicants to upload all information and supporting documentation and check the status of their application online. Users can submit LOMA requests through this tool instead of filing the MT-EZ paper form via mail.

Get started today using the new Online LOMC application.

View your Community’s Preliminary Flood Hazard Data

Preliminary flood hazard data provide an early look at your home or community’s risk to flood hazards. There are many benefits to viewing your community’s data before it becomes effective. For more information, visit the Preliminary Flood Hazard Data page.  

What is the Difference Between the eLOMA and the Online LOMC?

The eLOMA is a web-based application within the Mapping Information Platform (MIP) that provides licensed land surveyors and professional engineers (Licensed Professionals) with a system to submit simple Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) requests to FEMA. This tool is designed to make a determination based on the information submitted by the Licensed Professional and allow them to generate a determination from FEMA in minutes. The initial release of eLOMA will enable Licensed Professionals to make requests for existing single residential structures or properties, provided no fill has been placed to raise the elevations of the structure or property. Approximately half of the LOMAs processed annually (about 10,000 cases) meet the requirements of eLOMA.  For more information on the eLOMA, visit the eLOMA website.

The Online LOMC tool is available to any applicant who would like to submit a LOMA request directly to FEMA and does not require a surveyor or engineer to submit. All LOMA requests may be processed through the Online LOMC. A determination resulting from information submitted via Online LOMC is not received until after FEMA reviews the supporting documentation.  This process may take up to 60 days.

Coastal Projects

The FEMA Coastal Flood Risk webpages provide information about current and ongoing FEMA coastal projects, the coastal flood risk study process, guidance on rebuilding after a coastal storm, coastal resources, frequently asked questions and more.

Live Chat Service

FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) Map Specialists are available for online chat; Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (Eastern Daylight Time). To use Live Chat or for more information visit the FMIX page.

LOMC Clearinghouse

FEMA's Customer and Data Services (CDS) has launched the Letters of Map Change (LOMC) Clearinghouse, which will centralize the administrative functions associated with processing MT-EZ, MT-1 and MT-2 requests. Specific activities include creation of LOMC case files, upload and scanning of data, processing of associated fees and distribution to the appropriate Production and Technical Services (PTS) firm for processing.

As a result, there is a new mailing address. Beginning immediately, requestors should mail their applications and supporting data to:

LOMC Clearinghouse
847 South Pickett Street
Alexandria, VA 22304-4605
Attn: LOMC Manager

For more information about the LOMC Clearinghouse, please contact FEMA Map Information eXchange at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) or e-mail a Map Specialist.

Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment, and Planning) Multi Year Plan

FEMA is initiating Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) and has developed a multi year plan spanning FY10-FY14. The vision for Risk MAP is to deliver quality data that increases public awareness and leads to action that reduces risk to life and property. Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) Multi-Year Plan: Fiscal Years 2010 - 2014 was approved on March 16, 2009. To learn more about Risk MAP, visit the Risk Map home page.

Paper to Digital Transition

Beginning on or after October 1, 2009, FEMA will provide a single paper flood map and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) to each mapped community. FEMA will convert all other distribution of maps and FIS reports for digital delivery. FEMA will continue to provide free digital map products and data to federal, state, tribal and local NFIP stakeholders. FEMA announced this change in the Federal Register, Vol. 23, No. 76, FEMA Notices Availability of Flood Hazard Maps and Data 63181, issued on October 23, 2008. Read more about the digital transition.

User Groups

  • Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects
    Products, services and publications available to engineers, surveyors and architects. To obtain archival, technical, and administrative support data, please visit FEMA’s Engineering Library.
     
  • Floodplain Managers
    Resources available to floodplain managers including, guidance documents, contacts and training resources.
     
  • Homeowners
    Locate and obtain copies of flood maps, understand how to read them and request a map change believed to be warranted.
     
  • Insurance Professionals and Lenders
    Sources of information available specifically for insurance professionals and lenders involved with the NFIP.

Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod)

Through Map Mod, FEMA is transforming the nation's flood maps into more reliable, easier-to-use and readily available maps.

The Multi-Year Flood Hazard Identification Plan (MHIP) describes the strategy, schedule and budget developed by FEMA for producing flood hazard data and maps to administer the NFIP. It is a living document that is updated annually through a collaborative process to engage stakeholders.

As part of its commitment to improve the nation's flood hazard maps and in response to stakeholder feedback, FEMA performed a comprehensive review of Map Mod. This review is referred to as the Mid-Course Adjustment. As a result of the Mid-Course Adjustment, FEMA prioritized funding based on a goal of mapping 90 percent of the nation's highest-risk areas.

NFIP-Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, FEMA is preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement  (PEIS) to evaluate the NFIP as it is currently implemented and to include proposed agency modifications to the NFIP.  The NFIP consists of three primary elements: mapping, floodplain management and insurance. The modifications included in the PEIS may cover some or all of these elements. The PEIS is being led by FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration.

The NFIP PEIS scoping period will begin with a publication of a Revised Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register that is anticipated in October of 2013.  Comments will be accepted through www.regulations.gov for 45 days from the date the revised NOI is published.  Comments submitted after the close of the scoping period will be considered to the extent practicable.  Once the notice has published, this page will be updated with links to the Federal Register notice.
 

Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP)

The CTP Program is an innovative approach to creating partnerships between FEMA and participating NFIP communities, regional agencies and state agencies that have the interest and capability to become more active participants in the FEMA Flood Hazard Mapping program.

Status of Map Changes

Floodplain managers, engineers, community officials, citizens who are actively involved in updating flood hazard data and maps and other interested stakeholders may obtain information on ongoing map change activities, priority map changes, Letters of Final Determination and Base Flood Elevation notices.

Please note, if you filled out your map change using the new Online LOMC application, you can check the status of your map change instantly through the Online LOMC application tool.

 

Forms, Documents, and Software

FIMA offers various application forms, documents, and software to assist the public.

Online Tutorials

FEMA has developed several multimedia tutorials to provide in-depth training on different facets of the NFIP and to support FEMA's public education and outreach efforts as part of Map Mod.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions are provided for the following user groups: homeowners, engineers, surveyors and architects, insurance professionals and lenders and floodplain managers.

Website visitors experiencing accessibility problems are encouraged to send email to our Webmaster at webmaster@fema.gov.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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