The Draft National Flood Hazard Layer is a geospatial database that contains current draft digital flood hazard data. FEMA provides the flood hazard data to support the National Flood Insurance Program. The information can be used to better understand flood hazards in your community. To access the flood hazard data, including the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer, utilize the FEMA Map Service Center.
To explore the current digital draft flood hazard data in a map, the best tool to use is the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer. From the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer, you can view, download, and print flood maps for your location.
The draft National Flood Hazard Layer is for early awareness of possible changes to regulatory flood map information. Until the data becomes effective and it appears in the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL), the data cannot be used to rate flood insurance policies or enforce the federal mandatory purchase requirement.
The Draft National Flood Hazard Layer is made from draft Flood Insurance Rate Maps as identified by an in-progress flood hazard study. If you need information for areas not covered by the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer, there may be other FEMA Flood Hazard Products and Tools that cover those areas.
For further information about individual tables in the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer, use the FIRM Database Technical Reference, which is in FEMA’s Technical References.
For a guide on reading a flood map, visit the How to Read a Flood Insurance Rate Map Tutorial.
Accessing the draft National Flood Hazard Layer
The Draft National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer is the best way to view a map of the draft flood hazard data, along with a visual of proposed changes to flood extents or proposed changes to zone designations for a location by viewing the draft Changes Since Last FIRM (CSLF).
- Read the disclaimer and Click “OK” to proceed.
- Disclaimer: Draft National Flood Hazard Layer and Draft Changes Since Last FIRM draft (CSLF) are for review and guidance purposes only. The Draft National Flood Hazard Layer and Draft CSLF are not final and are presented as the best information available at this time. By viewing Draft National Flood Hazard or Draft CSLF the user acknowledges that the information provided is in the draft stage and subject to change. Additionally, Draft National Flood Hazard Layer cannot be used to rate flood insurance policies or enforce the federal mandatory purchase requirement. The draft CSLF allows users to view a standardized national dataset which communicates proposed map changes by comparing the Draft National Flood Hazard Layer and the NFHL.
2. Type the location’s address in the search bar and press the magnifying glass symbol.
Search for a complete address or just a street name, city, zip code, etc. Type the address and suggested options will populate in a list below the search bar. Click on a suggested option to see that location.
3. Navigate the map using the following functions:
- Use the “+” symbol to zoom in and the “-“ symbol to zoom out
- Click the mouse, hold it down, and move it to move the map
- Click the list symbol on the top right corner to open the Legend. The Legend explains the symbols and colors of the map.
- Click the three-page symbol on the top right corner to open the layer menu. The drop-down layer menu shows the data layers in the viewer and allows you to choose which dataset(s) you want to view. When the check is shown in the box, the layer is on. When there is not a check symbol in the box, the layer is off
Map Specialists at the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) can help with a wide variety of flood hazard mapping and floodplain management topics including how to find and read flood maps, draft Flood Hazard Data, Letters of Map Change, Elevation Certificates, and the NFHL Viewer. You may contact FMIX at 1-877-336-2627 or FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.