The expansion of communities into previously undeveloped areas, especially in coastal waterfront areas, has increased over the last several decades. As a means of reducing the increased risk associated with building in high-hazard areas, FEMA has established minimum floodplain management standards that coastal communities who voluntarily participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must adopt for developing more safely in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs)—also known as the area subject to inundation from the 1-percent-annual-chance flood.
By conducting an in-depth, large-scale series of studies to re-examine flood hazards and related risks in the coastal communities, FEMA will be developing new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and associated Flood Insurance Studies (FISs) to reflect up-to-date coastal flood hazard information.
Since coastal stakeholders should be aware of their risks, the mapping process, available resources and what steps to take to lessen the impact of coastal hazards, FEMA has compiled a variety of useful information directly targeting the following stakeholder groups:
Homeowners, Renters, Business Owners and General Public
Due to FEMA’s updated coastal studies, property owners and renters throughout the U.S. will have up-to-date, reliable and internet-accessible information about their flood risk. Some residents, renters and business owners will learn that their flood risk is designated as higher—or lower—than on the previous FIRM. For more detailed information, please visit the Coastal Resources for Homeowners, Renters, Business Owners and General Public webpage.
As a community official, it is your responsibility to ensure that your community is well educated on the coastal flood hazard studies and that Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are used as a framework to guide development, reducing future flood risk and losses. To better inform yourself and your community about coastal flood risks, please visit the Coastal Resources for Community Officials webpage.
Real Estate, Insurance and Lending Professionals
As a real estate, insurance or mortgage lending professional, your clients rely on you to inform them of any factors that may affect their property, such as the flood zone in which the property is currently located as well as any pending changes to that zone. Go to the Coastal Resources for Real Estate, Insurance and Lending Professionals webpage to learn more about flood risks, the coastal flood risk study process and other important information.
Cooperating Technical Partners, Engineers, Surveyors and Contractors
In order to gather new and updated data, FEMA often looks to technical advisors and other contractor staff to provide the most up-to-date information on coastal risks. By working on federal, state and local projects to promote understanding of the existing flood risks, these partners are highly valuable in FEMA’s effort to lessen the impact of coastal hazards to life and property. Please visit the Coastal Resources for Cooperating Technical Partners, Engineers, Surveyors and Contractors webpage for additional information about the ongoing coastal analysis and mapping effort as well as useful coastal resources.
Home Builders, Developers and Construction Professionals
As a home builder, developer and/or construction professional, it is important for you to understand flood zones and how they relate to building codes/standards, client/buyer hazard risks and expectations and ultimately the sustainability of your projects. There are steps you can take in the siting, design and construction of your properties that can reduce risk--potentially lowering flood insurance premium and protecting the property from coastal storm damage. For useful resources and more information related on how coastal flood hazard mapping affects your industry, go to the Coastal Resources for Home Builders, Developers and Construction Professionals webpage.
For More Information
The FloodSmart Coastal Webpages provide basic information on coastal flooding, flood insurance, flood mapping and other coastal hazards.
Visit FEMA's Flood Insurance Reform webpage for information on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and other reforms.
Access the final FIRM at your community’s local map repository and online through FEMA’s Map Service Center.
Contact a Map Specialist at the FEMA Map Information eXchange toll free, at 1-877-336-2627 or by email at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
Learn about what resources, grants and other information is available when Rebuilding After a Coastal Storm.
Find answers to many of your questions by visiting our Coastal Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Coastal Flood Risk Resources page, organized by region and stakeholder group, contains links to useful fact sheets, flyers, brochures and other helpful documents produced by FEMA, other federal agencies, state agencies, water management districts and other entities.
Subscribe to the Coastal Flood Risks email updates.