To determine a community's risk to flood hazards, FEMA performs an engineering study called a Flood Insurance Study (FIS). A FIS is a compilation and presentation of flood hazard areas along rivers, streams, coasts, and lakes within a community.
A FIS is based on different information, including:
- Historic information (such as riverflow, storm tide, and rainfall data)
- Meteorologic data
- Topographic data
- Hydrologic data
- Hydraulic data
- Open-space conditions
- Flood-control works
The results of the FIS are shown on FEMA’s flood maps called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), and in the accompanying description of the study called an FIS report. Effective FIRMs and FIS reports are available through FEMA's Map Service Center.
Before the results of an FIS are shown on a legally adopted FIRM, there are certain procedural steps that a FIRM goes through as part of the adoption process. The table below describes these steps.
Statuses for a Community's Flood Insurance Study and Associated Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)
Preliminary in Progress
The Preliminary FIRM and FIS report are currently being prepared and have not yet been issued to the community for review and comment.
The Preliminary FIRM and FIS report have been sent to the community for review and comment.
Final Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) Meeting Held
The meeting at which the preliminary results of a FIS are reviewed and discussed with community officials.
Appeal Period Started
The date the statutory 90-day appeal periodstarted1. The statutory 90-day appeal period begins on the date of the second publication of the notice of proposed flood hazard determinations in the local newspaper, during which community officials and individual residents may appeal the proposed flood hazard information.
Appeal Period Ends
The date the statutory 90-day appeal periodended1 (90 days from the date of the second publication of the notice of proposed flood hazard determinations in the local newspaper)
The date an appeal was received during the statutory 90-day appeal period.
NOTE: An appeal is a formal objection to proposed flood hazard information, including Base (1%-annual-chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs), base flood depths, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundaries or zone designations, or regulatory floodways, submitted by a community or individual resident during the statutory 90-day appeal period. SFHAs are areas subject to inundation by the base (1%-annual-chance) flood and include the following flood insurance risk zone designations: A, AO, AH, A1-A30, AE, A99, AR, AR/A1-A30, AR/AE, AR/AO, AR/AH, AR/A, VO, V1-V30, VE, and V. The regulatory floodway is the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water-surface elevation more than a designated height. Appeals are based on data that show that the proposed flood hazard information is scientifically or technically incorrect.
Appeal Resolution Distributed
The date of the appeal resolution letter issued by FEMA for an appeal received during the statutory 90-day appeal period.
Final Letter Sent
The Letter of Final Determination (LFD) is sent to the community to establish the FIRM and FIS report effective date and initiate a formal sixth-month period during which the community must adopt the FIRM and FIS report to become or remain eligible for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The date on which the FIRM and FIS report for a community goes into effect and the flood insurance and floodplain management requirements based on the new map apply.