FEMA’s Coordinated Needs Management Strategy (CNMS) uses a geospatial database to identify and track flood hazard study lifecycle and mapping needs within the flood hazard mapping program. CNMS supports community officials and FEMA personnel in analyzing and depicting the validity of flood studies to enhance the understanding of flood hazard risk and make informed decisions on community planning and flood mitigation.
FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provides flood hazard data and maps nationwide. As floodplains are constantly changing, Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are updated to reflect physiological, climatological, and engineering methodology (PCE) changes.
To maintain the validity of flood hazard data over time, FEMA assesses the inventory of FIRMs and its underlying flood risk studies to determine whether conditions on the ground are still adequately represented on the FIRM panel for that area. When flood information on the FIRM does not adequately represent actual conditions, it is considered a “flood hazard mapping need” and a new or updated flood hazard study for the area may be warranted. Ongoing new and/or updated flood hazard studies are tracked in CNMS as “Being Studied”.
View CNMS Data in the GIS Viewer
The CNMS Viewer provides users a single interactive map view of riverine studies, coastal studies, unmapped stream reaches, and mapping request information. In addition, users can view the validity of a flood hazard study to understand if an area is New, Valid, and Updated Engineering (NVUE) compliant. NVUE compliance means the studies were completed using up-to-date engineering methodology and/or conducted in areas where significant PCE changes have not occurred since the date of the original study.
Below is an image of data populated in the CNMS Viewer. Colored stream and coast lines display the validation status of flood hazard studies in the FEMA CNMS.
Understanding the Validation Process
FEMA re-evaluates all flood hazard studies on a five year cycle. The engineering study validation process evaluates the accuracy and depiction of the flood risk identified on a community’s FIRM. Changes in topography, hydrology, and/or land development are evaluated through a series of triage checks as part of this validation process. When a floodplain study fails an unacceptable number of triage checks, its validation status is labeled “Unverified” in the CNMS database. A flood hazard study with this status may be eligible for a restudy, or a restudy may already be underway to regain its compliant status. “Valid” studies are also referred to as “NVUE Compliant” and require re-assessment every five years to determine if the flood hazard depicted on the FIRM is still accurate.
An “Unknown” status indicates that a study is being evaluated, or an evaluation is planned, due to insufficient information available to determine the validation status. An “Assessed” validation status is used for unmapped flood sources that have been added to the CNMS inventory. In all cases, the flood hazard information on the FIRM shall be used as the regulatory standard for floodplain management purposes, regardless of validation status.
Users may find that viewing the validation status types is useful for tracking and making informed map update investment decisions. Viewing the validation status types also may enhance data-driven planning activities for map update prioritization efforts.
For more information about flood hazard mapping, floodplain management, or other information provided on this page, contact a Map Specialist in the FEMA Mapping and Insurance eXchange (FMIX) by: