Know Your Risk
Know Your Role
Homeowners, renters and business owners play an important role in reducing flood risk. This section helps homeowners find their property's flood map, understand flood risk and learn how to request a change to their flood zone designation.
Know Your Risk
The first step to understanding the risks in your area begins with reviewing flood maps. A flood map offers useful information and represents the official depiction of flood hazards for a community.
On the FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) you may research, view and download (free) the available inventory of effective NFIP products, including flood maps, the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report that accompanies the flood map and other mapping products. The "effective date" is the date on which the flood map for a community becomes effective, flood insurance becomes available and NFIP regulations take effect.
You can also create a customized FIRMette—a paper copy of a user-defined portion of an effective flood map, produced and saved on your computer. To learn more about FIRMettes and how to create one, view the document How to Find Your Flood Map and Make a FIRMette Tutorial.
Know Your Role
When it comes to keeping safe from flooding and reducing flood risk, everyone has a role because flooding affects everyone.
Flood insurance is available to all property owners and renters—even those living outside of high-risk areas.
There are many things you can do now to reduce the risk to your family and property from flooding:
- Reduce your risk from flooding by buying or building outside of high-risk flood zones, or consider making changes to your home to protect it against future floods. Learn more through the following resources:
- Be prepared. Make sure you have a plan and supplies in place for when a flood happens. Visit the Ready.gov Floods page to learn what to do before, during and after a flood to keep you and your family safe.
- Buy flood insurance. Even if you are not located in a high risk flood zone, remember that flooding can happen anywhere.
Before making changes to your home, contact your community's floodplain administrator (often an official in the zoning or planning department) to understand building and permitting requirements in your community. They can also provide information about federal and state grants and funding which may be available to help you too.
Change Flood Zone Designation
FEMA's official determination regarding whether a structure is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is based on certain property and elevation information.
If you think your property is inadvertently shown as in a flood zone, you may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). There are two types of LOMCs: the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and the Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F).
If you would like FEMA to make an official determination regarding the location of your property relative to the special flood hazard area, you can submit certain property and elevation information and request that FEMA issue a LOMA, if your property is located on natural ground or a LOMR-F, if your property has been elevated above the base flood by the placement of earthen fill.
If the request is approved, you may be eligible for lower flood insurance premiums. However, nearly 25 percent of flood insurance claims occur outside of high-risk flood zones. Consider continuing your flood insurance policy coverage even if you’re no longer required to do so.
Learn More About Changing Your Flood Zone Designation