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Guidelines & Standards Maintenance

This page provides history and context for changes to Risk MAP standards and guidance and is intended for engineering and mapping professionals, including Cooperating Technical Partners (CTPs) under FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Program.

In previous years, FEMA routinely updated the Risk MAP guidelines and standards on a semi-annual basis. Starting in 2017, FEMA adopted a new approach to focus on one primary update cycle per year, which occurs in November. While there may be some smaller, necessary updates that are issued in May, these will occur only on an as-needed basis. When FEMA begins the routine maintenance process for standards and guidance, a maintenance announcement is published detailing the proposed changes.

A copy of the most recent announcement can be found at Maintenance Announcement.

Guidance documents include detailed Summaries of Changes. Each standard in the Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping has the effective date listed. A general list of changes made to components of the guidelines and standards are also provided below in the Diary of Revisions.

Risk MAP ID Tables

Risk MAP products are labeled with a version number to indicate which version(s) of the guidelines and standards were used on those products. Products are labeled with the version number corresponding to the most recent update to that product. In many cases only a portion of a product is revised, so the version number does not necessarily represent the standards used for the all portions of that product. In the FIRM database and the Flood Risk database, individual features also have version ID numbers. This provides more granularity regarding which sections were produced using each version of the standards. The table below provides a reference to understand what the version number represents on a given product.

Table 1 defines the four digits of the version number while Table 2 presents common examples of how the version numbers would be applied, however it does not capture every possible version number.

Table 1: Definition of Version Digits

DIGIT 1 (PROGRAM)DIGIT 2 (FIRM DATABASE)DIGIT 3 (ENGINEERING AND OTHER STANDARDS)DIGIT 4 (NON- REGULATORY PRODUCTS)

1 = Map Modernization

1 = 2003 Appendix KL

1 = 2008 FEMA GS

0 = No Flood Risk Products

2 = Risk MAP

2 = 2011 Appendix KL

2 = 2011 FEMA GS

1 = 2010 Flood Risk Products Specs.

 

3 = 2013 FIRM DB TR and 2013 FIRM Panel TR

3 = 2013 FEMA Policy

2 = 2013 Flood Risk Products Specs.

 4 = Fall 2016 FIRM DB TR, and Fall 2016 FIRM Panel TR

 

3= 2014 Flood risk Products Specs.

   4 = 2016 Spring Flood Risk Products Specs.
   5 = Fall 2016 Flood Risk Products specs
 5 = Fall 2017 FIRM DB TR and Fall 2016 FIRM Panel TR 6 = Fall 2017 Flood Risk Products specs

Digit 1: All new studies and areas updated by Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) or Physical Map Revision (PMR) should use “2” for Risk MAP for the study area footprint.

Digit 2: Identifies the FIRM Database specifications used to create the data.  All National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) data converted from the 2003 database specifications are assigned with "1" to indicate that the data were originally created in the 2003 database schema. When updating a study for a PMR, the study must start with the effective data in the NFHL and match that database format (currently 2013 or "3"). However, for PMRs, the individual features for streams that were not scoped to be updated during the PMR but fall within the PMR footprint would have the second digit remain what is currently coded in the NFHL unless the region has scoped for these streams to be updated fully to the most recent database format.  LOMRs started from the NFHL may be produced in the new FIRM graphics format but do not require the database to be fully updated if the NFHL contains "1" for the second digit of the version ID. If the second digit is higher than "1" the LOMR data must be updated based on that version of spec.

Digit 3: Indicates the version of engineering standards applied to the study area and its review.  PMRs and LOMRs reviewed under the 2013 standards should use “3”.

Digit 4: Indicates the version of Flood Risk Products included in the study Scope of Work (SOW).

Table 2: Versioning Scenarios

VERSION #DIGIT 1DIGIT 2DIGIT 3DIGIT 4MAIN REASON FOR CHANGE

1.1.1.0

 Map Modernization

 2003 FIRM Database Specification (Appendix KL)

 2008 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memoranda)

No Flood Risk Products

Baseline Map Modernization Version Number
*This version applies to most projects initiated between 2003 and 2008.

 

2.1.2.1

Risk MAP

2003 FIRM Database Specification (Appendix KL)

2011 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memos – excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

 

2010 Flood Risk Products Specification (Procedure Memo 65 / Draft Appendix O)

Addition of Non-Regulatory Products (Appendix O)
*This version typically applies to projects initiated in 2009 and 2010 at the beginning of Risk MAP.

2.1.2.2

Risk MAP

2003 FIRM Database Specification (Appendix KL)

2011 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memos – excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2013 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

Addition of Non-Regulatory Products 2013 Flood Risk Database Specification.
*This is an unusual version that applies to project begun prior to the implementation of the new FIRM database specifications in 2011 but where the Flood Risk Database was upgraded to the 2013 specification.

2.2.2.1

Risk MAP

2011 FIRM Database Specification (Appendix KL)

2011 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memos – excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2010 Flood Risk Products Specification (Procedure Memo 65 / Draft Appendix O)

2011 Updates to FIRM Database Specification and Non-Regulatory Products (Appendix O)
*This version typically applies to projects begun in 2011 and 2012 using the new FIRM database specification, prior to the implementation of the new Flood Risk Database specification.

2.2.2.2

Risk MAP

2011 FIRM Database Specification (Appendix KL)

2011 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memos – excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2013 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

2011 Updates to FIRM Database Specification and 2013 Non-Regulatory Products
*This is an unusual version that applies to project begun in 2011 and 2012 using the 2011 FIRM specification where the Flood Risk Database was updated to the 2013 specification.

 

2.3.2.2

Risk MAP

2013 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database and FIRM Panel Technical References)

2011 FEMA Guidelines and Specifications (including procedure memos – excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2013 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

2012/2013 Updates to FIRM Database Specification and 2013 Updates to the Flood Risk Database Specification.
*This version typically applies to projects begun in 2011 and 2012 (or earlier) that used the 2013 version for both database specifications.

2.3.3.2

Risk MAP

2013 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database and FIRM Panel Technical References)

2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2013 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

Includes LAMP and several other technical changes.
*This version applies to projects initiated in 2013 or earlier projects that implement the standards changes included in the 2013 standards policy memo (i.e. revised procedures for mapping non-accredited levees, new dune erosion procedures, etc).

2.3.3.3

Risk MAP

2013 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database and FIRM Panel Technical References)

2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

2014 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

2014 Updates to the Flood Risk Database specs.  Updates to Coastal Non-Regulatory tables.

*This version applies to projects beginning Data Development after November 30, 2014.

2.3.3.4Risk MAP2013 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database and FIRM Panel Technical References)2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)2016 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)Spring 2016 Updates to the Flood Risk Database specs.  Removal of the AAL data as a required Flood Risk Assessment dataset and updates to the overall Flood Risk Assessment methodology. *This version applies to projects initiated in FY16.
2.4.3.5Risk MAPFall 2016 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database Technical Reference)2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)Fall 2016 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)Fall 2016 updates to FIRM Database and Flood Risk Database specs.  FIRM Database updates include changes to field names within S_Submittal_Info. Several Flood Risk Map- and Flood Risk Report-specific tables in the Flood Risk Database were changed from required to optional.

 

*This version applies to projects initiated in FY17.

2.5.3.6Risk MAP

Fall 2017 FIRM Database Specification (FIRM Database and Fall 2016 FIRM Panel Technical References)

2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

Fall 2017 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

Fall 2017 updates to FIRM Database and Flood Risk Database specs.  FIRM Database updates include changes to STUDY_TYP/STUDY_MTH fields in various tables, along with new domains for these fields; S_Levee ID fields to align with the National Levee Database. Several Flood Risk Product-related changes were made based on stakeholder feedback, and include: updates to standards and guidance to produce higher-quality Water Surface Elevation grids; making the Flood Risk Report and Flood Risk Map optional; and simplifications made to other Flood Risk Database tables to make them more user-friendly.
*This version applies to projects initiated in FY18.

2.6.3.6

Risk MAP

Fall 2018 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (removing CBRS data from FIRM panels and databases)

2013 FEMA Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping (excluding FIRM specs and Flood Risk Product specs)

Fall 2017 Flood Risk Products Specification (Flood Risk Database Technical Reference)

FEMA has been working in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to remove potentially outdated Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) information from the FEMA FIRM panels and databases, and switch to the authoritative, dynamically updated digital CBRS boundaries provided by USFWS website at: www.fws.gov/cbra.

Diary of Revisions

The guidance listed here supersedes the noted affected component(s).

Guidance Adopted Since the Publication of the Guidelines in February 2002:

DATE

ACTION

REVISED COMPONENT

December 2018

Standards Updates:

Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) data will no longer be shown on FIRM maps or contained in the FIRM database. This update is being done in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to remove potentially outdated CBRS information from the FEMA products and switch to using the authoritative, dynamically updated digital CBRS boundaries provided by USFWS website. 

SID 170: was rescinded.

SID 356: Revises the requirements in the FIRM Panel Technical Reference with respect to CBRS areas no longer being shown.

Guidelines and Standards Policy

February 2018

Standards Updates:

SIDs 91, 98, 537: Updated coastal standards to consolidate the definition of the V-Zone for coastal Flood Risk Projects and simplify standard language related to dune erosion analysis. SID 98 was rescinded and combined with SID 91.

SIDs 178, 521, 522, 523, 524, 553, 601, 609: Minor wording/terminology changes related to the Mapping Information Platform (MIP) redesign.

SIDs 187, 415, 417, 420, 426, 427, 428, 429, 440, 628: Updated Flood Risk Product (FRP) requirements based on feedback from FRP users and stakeholders.

  • New quality standards for water surface elevation grids
  • Simplification and streamlining of products including making the Flood Risk Report (FRR) and Flood Risk Map (FRM) optional
  • SIDs 420, 426, 427, 428, 440 were rescinded.

SIDs 199, 627: Updated SID 199 to allow the practice of using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) or other topographic datasets to determine the lowest adjacent grade (LAG) or MT-1 Letters of Map Amendment (LOMA) requests. Created a new standard SID 627 for using LiDAR or other elevation data for LOMAs.

SIDs 193, 508: Updated standards to align with already established protocols for Flood Elevation Determination Document (FEDD) file reviews during the Quality Review 4 (QR4) and Key Decision Point 5 (KDP5) steps. Both updates also include minor terminology changes to align with the MIP redesign.

Guidelines and Standards Policy
February 2018

Substantial Updates:

Base Level Engineering (BLE)

  • BLE Guidance (new): Developed new guidance to support the emerging creation and evolving definition of BLE.
  • Coordinated Needs Management Strategy (CNMS) Technical Reference: Updated to reflect information presented in the new BLE Guidance, which supports the emerging creation and evolving definition of BLE. Also updated to reflect new attributes being added to track availability of Water Surface Elevation (WSEL) and depth grids, and their compliance with the new quality standards.
  • Discovery Guidance: Minor updates to reflect lessons learned from launch of new MIP. Updates regarding the timing and collection of Areas of Mitigation Interest (AOMIs), based on the overall changes to the AOMI guidance. Updates to support BLE guidance transformation, regarding the timing of when BLE data is produced and shared with communities.
  • Domain Tables Technical Reference: Updated to allow for the selection of BLE in the D_STUDY_MTH and D_STUDY_TYP domain tables.
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database XML Schema: New content to establish consistent requirements and to support the emerging creation and understanding of BLE. Updates to address needs identified during the levee guidance transformation process.
  • Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report Technical Reference: Updates were made to the FIS Report Technical Reference Table 1, “Derivation of FIS Report Template Tables from Data in FIRM Database Tables” for the following reasons:
    • Updates based on topo field name changes; TOPO_VERT_ACC and TOPO_HORIZ_ACC field names have been updated to TOPO_V_ACC and TOPO_H_ACC, respectively (FIS Report Table 23).
    • Updates based on new entries in the FIRM DB domain/Domain Technical Reference D_STUDY_TYP (FIS Report Table 2).

LiDAR for Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs)

  • MT-1 Technical Guidance: Updated and new content to clarify how submitters can use LiDAR or other elevation data for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) applications.

Flood Risk Products (FRPs)

  • Areas of Mitigation Interest (AOMI) Guidance: Updated to reflect FRP improvements and simplified guidance and to emphasize the purpose of AOMI is to focus on enabling communities to take mitigation action. Added guidance on how Building Code adoption and enforcement information can be included within AOMI.
  • Changes Since Last FIRM (CSLF) Guidance: Updated to reflect FRP improvements, including revised definitions and simplification of the source citation and description of why changes may be taking place (formerly known as Contributing Engineering Factors).
  • Data Capture Technical Reference: Updated the data dictionary for the S_Elev_Inv_Ar, reflecting the current U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory data structure and field width limitations. Also, added a new S_Elev_Inv_Ar XML schema file to facilitate the submission of the S_Elev_Inv_Ar file and made changes to reflect changes to Flood Risk Product deliverables.
  • Domain Tables Technical Reference: Removed several Flood Risk Products domains to align with revised standards; provided a new table to track study methods by stream
  • Flood Depth and Analysis Grids Guidance: Additional guidance and graphics added to help in the creation of WSEL grids that will meet SID 415 (higher-quality data that is consistent with regulatory Base Flood Elevations). New section added to address the specific considerations and checks to take into account when evaluating the quality and accuracy of the WSEL grids.
  • Flood Risk Assessment Guidance: Updated to reflect simplification of the attributes stored in this dataset, based on FRP user and stakeholder feedback. The flood risk assessment process will not be affected, but the storage of loss information will be changed/updated. Instead of having separate tables and features, and using joins, the process is being simplified to store the Total Loss information within the S_CenBlk_Ar feature class.
  • Flood Risk Database Guidance: Updated to reflect simplification of certain tables and attributes stored within the database and to align with changes being made to the Flood Risk Database Technical Reference.
  • Flood Risk Database (FRD)Technical Reference: Updates were made to the FRD schema to reflect simplification of table and attribute population for CSLF, Flood Risk Assessment, and AOMI-related tables, based on FRP user and stakeholder feedback. Other FRR and FRM-related tables were also simplified or changed to optional, based on the overall change to make the FRR and FRM optional.
  • Flood Risk Database XML Schema: Updated to reflect FRP improvements and to align to updates made in the Flood Risk Database Technical Reference.
  • Flood Risk Map (FRM) Guidance: Updated to reflect that this Flood Risk Product is optional.
  • Flood Risk Report (FRR) Guidance: Updated to reflect that this Flood Risk Product is optional.
  • Flood Risk Products Checklist: Updated to reflect FRP improvements that were implemented based on feedback from FRP users and stakeholders in the Fall 2016. WSEL grid section enhanced with checks that test for compliance with SID 415.
  • Quality Management for Flood Risk Projects Guidance: Updated to reflect already established process of reviewing portions of FEDD file at QR4 and KDP5.  Also, updated information about review for Flood Risk Products.

Coastal Updates

  • Coastal Erosion Guidance: Updated to simplify language and to clarify that wave setup should be used for dune erosion analyses regardless, of the coastal flooding source.
  • Coastal Floodplain Mapping Guidance: Updated to support the combination of two existing standards (SIDs 91 and 98) to define the V-Zone for all coastal Flood Risk Projects, regardless of the flooding source.

Guidance Transformation

  • Acceptable Models List: Checklist and sample certification letter also developed to assist in documenting and evaluating model acceptability potential.
  • Coastal Wave Runup and Overtopping: Reorganized to more logically reflect the work undertaken. Supports the update to SID 91, which improves the V-Zone definition based on wave runup to better match current practice.
  • General Hydrologic Considerations: Updated to include information for regression analysis, stream gage analysis, and analysis of lake levels for closed basins.
  • Hydrology: Rainfall-Runoff Analyses: Transformed existing information and added guidance for determining 1 percent plus (1%+) discharges for rainfall-runoff models.
  • Ice Jam: Terminology and language updated to better align to Risk MAP. Defined the composite frequency curve as the base condition for floodway analyses rather than the free flow condition.
  • Incorporating Mitigation Planning Technical Assistance into Risk MAP Projects: Transformed existing guidance, significantly expanding content to cover mitigation planning technical assistance for each of the six steps of the Risk MAP life cycle. The transformed guidance also includes a comprehensive list of increased capability training.
  • Levee: Transformed and superseded guidance on levee accreditation, Provisionally Accredited Levees (PALs) and Levee Analysis and Mapping Procedures (LAMP), and expanded guidance on levee data inventory, mapping considerations for non-levee features, and coordination with other federal agencies, among others. Related templates were also updated as part of this transformation.
  • Post-Flood Hazard Verification/Recovery Tools: Guidance expanded around community outreach, federal agency coordination, data collection and sources, and other potential products/datasets that can be used for recovery.
  • Project Planning: Transformed existing information and updated methods to improve regional efficiency in Risk MAP planning, purchasing and reporting through multi-year planning and annual sequencing.

Minor Updates:

The following guidance documents had minor updates to content including revised terminology, figures, and/or workflow steps to align with redesigned MIP elements:

Guidance

  • Appeal and Comment Processing
  • Coastal General Study Considerations
  • Database Verification Tool (DVT)
  • Data Capture Workflow
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database
  • Key Decision Point (KDP) Process
  • Metadata
  • National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL)

Technical References

  • Data Capture
  • FIRM Database
  • Metadata Profiles
Guidance and Technical Reference Documents
February 2018

Updated Templates

  • FEDD Checklist
  • FIS Report Template
  • Metadata Profile XML Schemas
  • Regulatory Checklists
  • TSDN Checklist
  • S_Elev_Inv_Ar XML Schema
Templates and Other Resources
May 2017

Substantial Updates:

Mapping Information Platform (MIP) Guidance: A nearly complete overhaul to reflect the MIP redesign with new content to present updated terminology, new and revised tools, new purchase types, new upload capabilities, new project setup instructions, revised workbench information, new reports, and new studies workflow diagrams.  The overhaul also includes removal of outdated content.

Data Capture – General Guidance: Updated to remove many of the work-arounds from the old version of the MIP and revised data capture information to reflect the MIP redesign. Includes new folder structure and Certification of Compliance of Submitted Data Form (i.e. to be used for aerial mapping, hydrology, hydraulics, alluvial fans, coastal and regulatory products).

Data Capture – Workflow Guidance: Extensive revisions to reflect new MIP data capture tasks, folder structure, etc. New content and comprehensive revisions for many of the new features in the MIP including Discovery, post preliminary data capture, terrain/topographic data capture, flood risk products data capture, LAMP data submittals, and general data purchases.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database Technical Reference: Updated to reflect redesigned MIP elements including:

  • New terminology, MIP Task Names, and MIP Purchases
  • Revised Table 2 “FIRM Database Table Deliverables by MIP Data Capture Task” (Section 4) to display new task names
  • Revised “S_Topo_Confidence” table and guidance to reflect documentation of topographic versus terrain data, per redesigned MIP Task names and content

Data Capture Technical Reference: Updated to reflect redesigned MIP elements including:

  • New data upload processes and terminology
  • Study updates and data upload processes and terminology
  • Flood Elevation Determination Docket (FEDD) as final deliverable
  • Validation and Independent Quality Assurance / Quality Control folders for all Data Capture purchases
  • Levee, Outreach, Due Process, and General purchase task folders.

Geospatial Data Coordination (GDC) Guidance: Updated to remove outdated MIP workflow content (e.g. scoping) and a comprehensive update to all items pertaining to the entry of leverage data and how to classify it, as well as changes to the GDC reporting logic and report names.

Preliminary Distribution and Revised Preliminary Guidance: Updated to add new content for how to create and manage the Revised Preliminary Project in the MIP, including completing the data development tasks and issuing the Revised Preliminary Regulatory Products.  Added content for the Preliminary and Revised Preliminary Summary of Map Action (SOMA), specifically for working within the MIP workflow and the new SOMA tool.

Post-Preliminary Deliverables Guidance: Updated to reflect MIP change that all FEDD file components (including final compilation), 90/30 day letters, and revalidation letters will be uploaded.  Additionally, outlines requirements for Appeal Initiation and documentation, Record Appeal, and Comment Processing and Tracking steps in MIP.  Outlines the requirements for various deliverables related to LFDs.

Guidance Transformation:

SOMA and Revalidation Letters Guidance: First time publication of this guidance, providing new content for capturing the Letters of Map Change (LOMC) locations with regards to the redesigned Community LOMC List Report.  Created content for LOMC categorization, specifically as it relates to the new SOMA categories “2a and 2b”.  Also, provided information on working with the MIP SOMA tool, creating the Preliminary or Revised Preliminary and Final SOMAs, and completing the Revalidation MIP Export.

Minor Updates:

The following guidance documents had minor updates to content including revised terminology, figures, and/or workflow steps to align with redesigned MIP elements:

  • Appeal and Comment Processing Guidance
  • Coordinated Needs Management Strategy (CNMS) Technical Reference
  • Database Verification Tool (DVT) Guidance
  • Discovery Guidance
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database Guidance
  • Key Decision Point (KDP) Process Guidance
  • Letter of Final Determination (LFD) Guidance
  • Metadata Guidance
Post-Preliminary Due Process Guidance
Guidance and Technical Reference Documents
May 2017

One updated template:

  • Certification of Completeness of all Submitted Data for FEMA-funded Flood Risk Projects

Six new templates:

  • Certificate of Compliance of Submitted Data for FEMA-funded Flood Risk Projects
  • Appeal Comment Acknowledgment
  • Appeal Resolution
  • Appeal Start Letter
  • Preliminary Transmittal Letter
Revised Preliminary Transmittal Letter
Templates and Other Resources

November 2016

Routine Standards Updates

SID 444: The purpose for the update is to require emergency operation and public evacuation procedures be documented for levee systems to be accredited.  This standard will emphasize the importance of ensuring this information is available and is aligned with existing accreditation regulations. Additionally, this standard is consistent with “Flood Protection Structure Accreditation Task Force: Final Report” recommendations to require such information. The “Flood Protection Structure Accreditation Task Force: Final Report” was produced following a requirement in the 2012 NFIP Reform Act for FEMA and US Army Corps of Engineers to align our requirements related to levee inspection, certification, and accreditation.
 
SID 551: The purpose of this update is to clarify that Risk MAP Program providers are responsible for the quality of the entire FIRM panel when working on a PMR project that might only affect a small portion of a panel.
 
SIDs 169 368: Removes conflicting requirements that existed between the original standards 169 and 368 related to the incorporation of LOMRs into a study or PMR.   All valid LOMRs that are effective prior to the LOMC cutoff data must be incorporated. SID 169 will be updated with the combined language and SID 368 will be rescinded.  This update will not result in significant changes to current processes.
 
SID 440: The purpose for the update is to remove the phrase that mandated how Mapping Partners create the Flood Risk Map (“must be derived directly from the Flood Risk Database”).  This change was needed to promote more flexibility in how the Flood Risk Map and Flood Risk Report get created, and to ultimately support simplification of the Flood Risk Database.  An associated Flood Risk Database Technical Reference update will also be made to fully implement this change.
 
SID 268: Requires that all communities included in a revised FIS, regardless of whether they are affected by the revision, must receive a copy of the updated FIS or receive a notice of how to download an updated FIS. Currently, all communities in a county affected by a revision receive a copy of the revised FIS Report at effective issuance, delivered by the MSC.  This aligns with current practice.  In the future, communities included in the FIS, but not affected by the revision may receive a notice of how to download an updated FIS, rather than receive the updates directly.
 
SID 227: The purpose for the update is to add the option for making corrections to the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) through the NTU process, and also to clarify the accreditation status of a levee cannot be updated by an NTU.

New Standards

SID 623: This is a new standard to clarify that requests to remove the SHFA designation from a structure or property that require a Community Acknowledgement Form cannot be processed in non-participating communities.
 
SID 624: This is a new standard that states the basis for approval or denial of requests to remove the SFHA designation from a structure or property based on the elevation of the lowest adjacent grade at the structure or naturally occurring intervening high ground between the flooding source and the structure of property.

SID 626: This is a new standard to clarify that to remove the SFHA designation from a property or portion of a property, the area to be removed cannot partially overlap any proposed or existing structures and may not include flooding sources or waterways that are shown on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

There was also an addition to the “Requirements” section of the policy to help clarify the impact of new standards on existing task orders and agreements: 

The implementation description is chosen to avoid cost or scope impacts on existing task orders, cooperative agreements, or interagency agreements.  If the implementation of a new standard as mandated by this policy requires a change to an existing agreement, coordinate with FEMA to modify the existing agreement as necessary.

Guidelines and Standards Policy

November 2016

TMAC Recommendations

Modeling Guidance

Hydraulics - One-dimensional Analysis and Floodway Guidance: Transformation with minor edits / updates.  Some additional language is being added to provide guidance on how to choose between steady and unsteady modeling techniques.

Hydraulics - Two-dimensional Analysis Guidance: Transformation with new content from recently developed FEMA whitepapers.  The new content will help modelers choose between 1-D and 2-D models and better define data sources.  Also, adding information about model verification and maintenance.

Elevation Data Accuracy Reporting

FIRM Database Technical Reference: Updating fields within S_Submittal_Info to capture topographic data accuracy (TOPO_VERT_ACC and TOPO_HORIZ_ACC fields) to support TMAC recommendation. This will increase the version of the FIRM Database.  There are other minor updates.

FIRM Database Guidance: Minor changes to align with the FIRM DB Technical References updates, as well as providing guidance about how to populate the new fields.

Domain Tables Technical Reference: New Domains being added for the new fields in the S_Submittal_Info.  Also, adding new domains for D_Task_Typ: Topo_Capture and Terrain_Capture.

Terrain Metadata Profile: Adding Topo Capture and Terrain Capture GeoForm options.

Data Capture Technical Reference: Updating to reflect new Topo_Capture and Terrain_Capture tasks, also adding Automated Engineering report to General folder for Hydrology, Hydraulics, Floodplain Mapping, and Flood Risk Dataset.

Data Capture – General Guidance: Revisions to reflect new Topo_Capture and Terrain_Capture tasks, updates to the media section to reflect CDS guidance on submitting large datasets, and other minor changes.

Data Capture – Workflow Details Guidance: Revisions to reflect new Topo_Capture and Terrain_Capture tasks, minor updates to the Automated Engineering section.

FIS Report Technical Reference: Revising information about Table 23 to reflect new S_Submittal_Info fields.

Substantial Updates

CNMS Technical Reference: Updated to incorporate the revised Coastal CNMS framework and coastal study validation assessment process and checklist.  Some minor revisions and additions have been made to the S_Studies_Ln feature class schema, including new fields to store validation assessment decision documentation directly in the database rather than as an external spreadsheet.

Quality Management Guidance: Consolidation of the two existing Quality guidance documents into one, and updates to incorporate references to KDP requirements, as well as guidance around the timing of submittals, reviews, and the archiving of data. The structure is being re-organized around the lifecycle of a Flood Risk Study while providing details about quality assurance, quality control, and continuous process improvement.

Guidance Transformation

Stakeholder Engagement-FIS and FIRM Delivery Guidance: Transformed guidance, plus substantial revisions to reflect FEMA emphasis on stakeholder engagement throughout Risk MAP lifecycle and to address requirements of Section 216 of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, as amended by Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.

Stakeholder Engagement-Planning for Mitigation Action Guidance: Transformed guidance, plus substantial revisions to reflect FEMA emphasis on stakeholder engagement throughout Risk MAP lifecycle and to address requirements of Section 216 of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, as amended by Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.

General Hydraulics Guidance: Originally transformed in May 2016. Held for release to correspond with 1-D and 2-D Analysis Guidance release because of extensive interdependencies.  Provides additional clarity on levels of study such as Base Level Engineering and Detailed Study.

Alluvial Fan Guidance: Transformed guidance, with the removal of some out dated content.

Shallow Flooding Guidance:  Transformed guidance, plus revisions to some language to reflect current program terminology and evolving methods of analysis since Appendix E was originally written.

Flood Profiles Guidance:  Transformed guidance, plus added guidance to address profile situations commonly encountered, such as drawdowns, overprints, and profiles for 2D modeling, among others.

Coastal: Statistical Simulation Methods Guidance: Transformed guidance, consolidating related guidance from Appendix D and Operating Guidance 8-12 on Joint Probability Method.

Coastal: Flood Frequency and Extreme Value Analysis Guidance: Transformed guidance, and updated to remove certain guidance previously included in legacy Appendix D, such as the recommendation to adopt the GEV distribution, examples that highlighted how to perform certain statistical analyses, and language pertaining to the complexity of the Peaks Over Threshold approach.

Miscellaneous Updates 

Regulatory Product Updates

FIRM Panel Technical Reference: Updated to provide a specification for the FIRM Panel neatline.

FIS Report Technical Reference: Replaced the NGS physical address and phone number listed in the FIS Report with a reference to the NGS website; added clarifying information for documenting multi-county communities in the Community Map History Table and on the FIRM Index; added a special CBRS/PNP note option to the FIRM Index where CBRS areas apply over open water; and updated Table 23 (Topographic Data) to be consistent with updates to the FIRM Database Technical Reference and to better implement the TMAC recommendation to document the Vertical and Horizontal accuracy of elevation data used in the study.

FIS Report Guidance: Minor update to support the improved implementation of SID #261; updated to support the special CBRS/PNP FIRM Index note added to the FIS Report Technical Reference.

FIS Report Template: Updated to reflect NGS updates in the FIS Report Technical Reference.

NFHL Guidance: Updates to document changes to the NFHL submission process, LOMR source citation guidance, and changes to quality corrections that can be processed as NTUs.

DVT, PMR and FIRM Index Guidance: Minor changes to clarify guidance and better align with other documents.

Flood Risk Product Updates

Flood Risk Database Technical Reference: Updated to fully implement the changes to SID #440 and to promote more flexibility and simplification of the database, by removing the requirement that the following Flood Risk Map and Flood Risk Report-specific tables must be populated: S_Carto_Ar, S_Carto_Ln, S_Carto_Pt, S_FRM_Callout_Ln, FRR_Custom, FRR_Images, and FRR_Project.  These are now optional.

Flood Risk Database and Flood Risk Map Guidance: Minor updates to be consistent with the updates to the Flood Risk Database Technical Reference.

Other Routine Updates

Post-Preliminary Processing (PPP) Deliverables Guidance: Minor updates to the FEDD table to include new BW-12 guidance and be consistent with other May 2016 updates (FEDD/TSDN).

Coastal General Study Considerations Guidance: Updated section 4.4 to incorporate guidance regarding temporary shoreline disturbances.

MIP Guidance: Updates to reflect changes in the process for submitting large datasets to the MSC.

NTU Guidance: Updates to discuss NFHL-only NTUs, alignment with updates to SID #227 and other revised information to make the use of NTU more streamlined. 

Metadata Guidance: Updating to expand information on use of the tool.

Metadata Profiles (with references to Automated Engineering): Adding optional language to the existing Hydrology, Hydraulics, Floodplain Mapping, and Flood Risk Dataset metadata profiles to be used when submitting Automated Engineering data with these tasks.

Guidance and Technical Reference Documents

November 2016

Three updated templates: FIRM Panel Ortho, FIRM Panel Vector, and FIS Report.

One new template: Inventory Worksheet.

Templates and Other Resources

July 2016

Standards Implementing Provisions of the NFIP Reforms

  • SID 620: A new standard to establish a requirement for additional Project Team coordination with community officials to solicit feedback regarding the appropriateness of engineering models planned for use on a flood risk study before the engineering analysis is begun. 
  • SID 621: A new standard to establish a requirement for additional Project Team coordination with community officials to solicit their feedback on draft flood hazard data.
  • SID 622: A new standard to establish requirements for Project Team coordination with community officials, FEMA Regional External Affairs staff, and local radio and television outlets to educate the public about FEMA map revisions and appeals processes.
  • SID 43: Based on the requirements for elevation data in BW-12, this standard was updated to state that elevation data selected for a Flood Risk Study must be the most accurate information available at the start of data development, in addition to complying with all relevant FEMA standards. If the best available elevation data does not comply with current standards, then FEMA should acquire new elevation data.
  • SID 17: Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) recommendation #11 in its Annual Report indicated that FEMA should provide more flexibility in the size of its watershed projects, and not limit it to just the HUC-8 level.  While the standard as previously written did allow for smaller watershed sizes to be selected, there was a concern that there may be cases where projects larger than the HUC-8 level might be desired.  This standard update now provides for that flexibility.  This change is driven by a TMAC recommendation, but is related to the watershed requirements in BW12.

Routine Standards Updates

  • SID 214: This standard was updated to align all of the potential regulatory products, including the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL), which might need to be updated as part of the Notice to Users (NTU) process.  Additionally, the standard was updated to clarify formatting and distribution requirements for the NTU letter and revised products.  Current practices are already consistent with the updated standard. 
  • SID 507: This standard was updated to state that all regulatory products, including the FIRM database, are in agreement as it relates to flood hazard information.  Previously, the FIRM database was not included in the standard.  Additionally, the term “decimal point precision” was added to provide clarity on expectations for submitted data.  Current practices are already consistent with the updated standard. 
  • SID 417: This update was made to remove the requirement that the AAL data be included as part of risk assessments to improve how flood risk assessments are being performed and delivered within the program.  This is being done due to concerns that have been raised throughout the program and its partners on the lack of value that the AAL data provides, the inaccuracy of its loss calculations, and the outdated nature of the census data it used (2000 vs. 2010 available in most recent versions).  This change also makes it easier to leverage automated engineering data in the creation of the flood risk assessment dataset, which will result in a more credible product than the AAL data.
  • SID 438: This standard previously mandated that an older version of Hazus (2.1) be used as the basis for all census blocks delivered within the Flood Risk Database.  The census blocks from this version were based on census data from the year 2000.  Based on the updated flood risk assessment approach that has been updated in SID 417 and in guidance, this standard is no longer valid and has been rescinded.  The FRD Technical Reference now indicates that the latest version of Hazus should be used.
  • SIDs 57, 180, 181, 425, 429, 433: These standards all referenced the phrase “non-regulatory products”.  Emphasis, however, is being made to refer to these as “flood risk products” instead of “non-regulatory products”.  Minor terminology updates were made to these standards to be consistent with this change.

SIDs 423, 431, 441: These were very technical, database standards that made more sense to include in the Flood Risk Database Technical Reference rather than have a standard for them.  They were, therefore, rescinded as standards.  However, the specifications that each of these called for can all now be found in the FRD Tech Ref.

Guidelines and Standards Policy

July 2016

Guidance updates Implementing Provisions of the NFIP Reforms

  • Areas of Potential Population Growth – Updated the Discovery and Stakeholder Engagement (Discovery) guidance to promote the collection and evaluate of future population growth areas.  Updated the Areas of Mitigation Interest guidance to allow for the inclusion of these datasets.  
  • Non-Structural Mitigation Features – Updated the Discovery guidance to promote the collection and evaluation of non-structural flood mitigation features.
  • Elevation Data – Updated the Elevation guidance to align with the update to SID #43, which requires the use of most accurate elevation data available at the time the data development during a Risk MAP Project.
  • Watershed Approach – Updated the Discovery and Contiguous Community Matching guidance to clarify how watershed principles should be considered as part of the Project Scope refinement process.
  • Other Inclusions – Updated the Discovery guidance to clarify the types of data from other federal agencies that should be identified and collected during Discovery.  Updated the General Coastal Considerations, General Hydrology Considerations, Areas of Mitigation Interest, and Flood Insurance Study Report guidance to document how this data can be used and referenced as part of the study process, where applicable.
  • Community Notifications – Updated the Discovery, Stakeholder Engagement (Discovery), and Stakeholder Engagement (Data and Product Development) guidance to include the new process for addressing the engineering models notification (SID #620) to community officials.  Updated the Stakeholder Engagement (Data and Product Development) guidance to include the new process for addressing the data submission notification (SID #621) to community officials.  Updated the Key Decision Point (KDP) guidance to reflect changes to the KDP forms and move other updates to align with the NFIP reforms. 
  • Education on Flood Risk – Updated the Stakeholder Engagement (Discovery), Stakeholder Engagement (Data and Product Development), Stakeholder Engagement (Preliminary NFIP Map Release), and Stakeholder Engagement (Risk Awareness) to clarify options in educating property owners about the flood risk in their community and how the flood risk can be addressed.  Updated the newly transformed Stakeholder Engagement (Due Process) to clarify options in educating property owners about the flood risk in their community and how the flood risk can be addressed. 
  • Education on Benefits of Insurance – Updated the Stakeholder Engagement (Preliminary NFIP Map Release) to clarify options in educating property owners about the benefits and costs of maintaining/acquiring flood insurance, including Preferred Risk Policies.  Updated the newly transformed Stakeholder Engagement (Due Process) to clarify options in educating property owners about the benefits and costs of maintaining/acquiring flood insurance, including Preferred Risk Policies. 
  • Education on Appeals and Map Revision Processes – Updated the Stakeholder Engagement (Preliminary NFIP Map Release) to include new guidance to further educate property owners about the appeals and map revision process using local media outlets (Radio and TV).  Updated the newly transformed Stakeholder Engagement (Due Process) to include new guidance to further educate property owners about the appeals and map revision process using local media outlets (Radio and TV). 
  • Level of Protection – Updated the Discovery guidance to document the data related to a structural or non-structural feature’s “level of protection” that should be collected during Discovery.  Transformed the Levee-Specific Flood Risk Datasets and Dam-Specific Flood Risk Datasets guidance, which include some datasets that communicate certain aspects of protection.

Flood Risk Product-related updates

  • Flood Risk Assessment Guidance – Updated to reflect the removal of the 2010 Average Annualized Loss (AAL) data as a required flood risk assessment dataset.  Modified the process by which the Flood Risk Assessment results would be calculated and stored, through the compilation and use of the best available depth grids in the project area.
  • Flood Risk Map, Flood Risk Report, Flood Risk Database Guidance – The terminology and references in these three guidance documents were updated to align with the changes made to the Flood Risk Assessment process and guidance.
  • Levee-Specific Flood Risk Products Dam-Specific Flood Risk Products Guidance – These two guidance documents are a transformation of draft guidance that was prepared in 2013 but never formally published.
  • Flood Risk Database Technical Reference – Updated the database schema and terminology based on the Flood Risk Assessment changes.

Regulatory Product-related updates

  • FIRM Graphics Guidance – Revised, expanded, and clarified guidance for symbolizing different types of Limit Lines on the FIRM
  • FIRM Database Guidance – Added guidance about a revision note for new panel layouts and added references to the Projection and Coordinate Systems guidance.
  • DVT Guidance – Updated to reflect changes to 3 DVT checks and corrected a known error in a table.
  • PMRs Guidance – Expanded guidance about the required review periods that accompany PMRs.
  • FIRM Panel, FIRM Database, FIS Report Technical References – These three technical references were all updated to add the legend symbology, specifications, and text associated with the “Area with Flood Risk due to Levee” designation as a subtype of Zone D.
  • Domain Tables Technical Reference – Updated 3 domain tables and added “Area with Flood Risk due to Levee” for Zone D flood hazards.
  • Data Capture Technical Reference – Updated to clarify the need to submit an elevation inventory file with new topographic data purchases.
  • Data Capture Workflow Guidance – Updated to changes references to automated engineering, the need to submit the elevation inventory file, aligned the list of quality records with the Technical Reference and other general updates.

Other Routine updates

  • LOMR Incorporation Guidance – Updated to clarify that data should match the FIRM database naming convention, areas outside of the LOMR are not required to show cross section elevations, and there should be decimal point precision agreement between all submitted products.
  • Automated Engineering Guidance – Updated to reflect a terminology change throughout from First Order Approximation (FOA) to Automated Engineering, and to clarify vertical and horizontal tolerance checks as part of the validation process.
  • Notice-to-User (NTU) Guidance – Updated to explain how pre-effective NTUs are to be processed and added information about updating the NFHL via an NTU.
  • Base Map and FIRM Panel Layout – Updated to expand how suffixes are determined and advanced for each Risk MAP Project type.
  • Endangered Species Act Compliance for Conditional Letters of Map Change – Minor updates to incorporate additional language changes as requested by the Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (OEHP) department to improve usefulness for users.
  • Quality Review – Updated to accommodate the 30-day data review period which must be granted to communities prior to completion of Quality Review (QR) 1.

Guidance Transformation

  • Coastal: Water Levels Guidance – Transformed guidance, plus updated guidance informed by the results of a FEMA Coastal IPT project relating to “Incorporating Tides into Storm Surge modeling”.  Outdated or obsolete methods or models were also removed as appropriate.
  • Coastal: Notation, Acronyms, and Glossary Guidance – Transformed guidance, plus a reduction in terms that were in previous documents but have become outdated, obsolete, or irrelevant.
  • Geospatial Data Coordination Guidance – Transformed to summarize GDC requirements for all phases of production, revised the monthly reporting section and clarified roles and responsibilities for all providers.
  • FEDD File TSDN Guidance – Transformed guidance, plus an update to the TSDN and FEDD File checklists to align better with the Data Capture Technical Reference and NFIP Reform requirements related to stakeholder engagement.  Updated definition of the TSDN to remove references to a hardcopy notebook, now that digital submittals are used.
  • Appeal and Comment Processing Guidance – Transformed guidance, plus additional clarification on when a second appeal period is required, proper usage of the Appeals Tracker, and support needs during the Scientific Resolution Panel process.
  • Letters of Final Determination (LFD) Guidance – Transformed guidance, plus updated guidance on the use of the LFD Verification Summary Form and LFD Questionnaire.
  • Projections Coordinate Systems Guidance – Transformed guidance and added information about spatial reference systems and the applicability to Risk MAP Projects.

General Hydrology Considerations Guidance – Transformed guidance and added a new section to address karst flooding.

MT-1 Technical Guidance: Transformed guidance to provide information about MT-1 determinations and how to provide comments regarding flood hazard zones for lots, portion of lots, or existing or proposed structures.

Guidance and Technical Reference Documents

July 2016

Five updated templates: FEDD File Checklist, FIRM Panel Ortho, FIRM Panel Vector, FIS Report, Flood Risk Report, Notice to Users (NTU) Letter, TSDN Checklist, Alluvial Fan Metadata Profile, Hydraulics Metadata Profile, FIRM DB Schema, FRD Schema, NFHL Schema, and KDP 0-3 forms.

Added several new templates related to NFIP Reform action on community notifications.

Templates and Other Resources

November 2015

Two new standards: SID 618 clarifies requirements for LOMRs to update the NFHL, including strengthening the requirement for an area of revision to be included in the NFHL regardless of whether the LOMR has a map attachment showing an area of revision or not. SID 619 provides clarification for how FEMA will interpret the “continuous or nearly continuous” element of the regulatory definition of a primary frontal dune.

Three standard updates: SID 6 clarifies that the CNMS technical reference must be followed for validation and needs assessment. SID 139 replaces the term “equilibrium condition” for beach nourishment project areas with more appropriate terminology. SID 40, 43, and 46 updates to transition FEMA’s elevation requirements for new LiDAR to match the new USGS Specification which is the base standard for the 3D Elevation Program.

Two standards rescinded: SID 47 and 48 are included in the new USGS Specification so they are no longer needed.

Guidelines and Standards Policy

November 2015

Twenty-five new guidance documents were added as part of the Guidance Transformation process: Coastal Erosion, Coastal Floodplain Mapping, Overland Wave Propagation, Coastal Structures, Coastal Wave Setup, Contiguous Community Matching, Data Capture – General, Data Capture – Workflow Details, Elevation, Consideration of the Endangered Species Act, Floodplain Boundary Standards, Federal Register Notices, LOMR Incorporation, Mapping Information Platform, Post-Preliminary Deliverables, Post-Preliminary Due Process, Preliminary Distribution and Revised Preliminary, Profile Baseline, Redelineation, Riverine Mapping and Floodplain, Stakeholder Engagement – Data and Product Development Phase, Stakeholder Engagement – Preliminary National Flood Insurance Program Map Release Phase Phase, Stakeholder Engagement – Project Planning Phase, Stakeholder Engagement – Risk Awareness Phase, and Versioning. As opposed to individual guidance topics that are specific to just the Atlantic/Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, or Pacific Coast, each document consolidates the relevant guidance on that particular topic for Atlantic/Gulf, Great Lakes, and Pacific Coast studies (as applicable)

Most of the transformed guidance documents continue the existing guidance and primarily clean-up and reorganize the information.  There were also a few significant updates or enhancements:

  • Data Capture guidance updates included new information for handling several situations where the existing data capture processes were not clear including appeals, revised preliminary maps, and correcting previously submitted data.
  • Coastal guidance has historically been broken out into separate documents for different geographic regions.  The new coastal guidance is organized by coastal topic with all of the geographic regions included in a single document.
  • The guidance on Consideration of the Endangered Species Act document contains significant changes to clarify FEMA’s role with the ESA for LOMCs, clarifies the required documentation, and differentiates between federal involvement projects versus non-federal involvement projects.
  • The Revised Preliminary guidance was updated to clarify situations where a revised preliminary should be issued

Seven guidance updates: Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Index, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database, Base Map, Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report, First Order Approximation, National Floor Hazard Layer (NHFL), and Physical Map Revision (PMR).  These were mainly minor technical updates to existing guidance.

Guidance Documents

November 2015

Five technical reference updates: Data Capture, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Panel, Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report, and Flood Risk Database (FRD).

Technical References

November 2015

Updated the FIS Report Template, FRD Schema and added the Project Completion Certification Template.

Templates and Other Resources

July 2015

Six new standards: SID 612 sets the requirements for Key Decision Points (KDP), SID 613 establishes a standard implementing existing practice on eligibility for LOMAs in V Zones, SID 614 updates the methodology for determining the BFE for LOMAs located in coastal flood zones, SID 615 clarifies the timeline and notification of the timeline for Scientific Resolution Panels, SID 616 removes the requirement of the LOMR requestor to provide the review and processing fees if the LOMR is based on certain Federal or State funded projects, and SID 617 specifies how FEMA notifies Congress of certain actions associated with the issuance of preliminary and revised preliminary maps.

Two standard updates: SID 218 added LOMR and CLOMR to the actions that may not be based on preliminary data and SID 229 clarifies that profile labeling requirements applies to “lettered” mapped cross sections.

Guidelines and Standards Policy

July 2015

Seven new guidance documents: Zone A99 and Zone AR Determinations, Combined Coastal and Riverine Floodplain, Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database, Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report, Key Decision Point (KDP) Process, Physical Map Revision (PMR), and Calculation of Incident Wave Height and Slope for use with TAW Wave Runup Method.

Four guidance updates: Database Verification Tool (DVT), FIRM Graphics, FIRM Index, and National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL).

Guidance Documents

July 2015

Five technical reference updates: Coordinated Needs Management Strategy (CNMS), Domain Tables, FIRM Database, FIRM Panel, and FIS Report.

Technical References

November 2014

Nine new standards: 603 and 604 address the implementation of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act provisions for AR and A99 levee status; 605 and 606 bring the existing Digital Use Policy over to the Risk MAP policy; and 607 to 611 specify certain technical / procedural details for National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) data processing.

Six standard updates: 106 and 374 make minor changes to how we show and label Base Flood Elevations (BFE) on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs); 180, 371, 429, and 547 just changes the terminology to remove the word “standards” from “Data Capture Standards Technical Reference” to avoid confusion with the real standards.

Standard 451 was rescinded so that we can process a levee deaccreditation by LOMR if appropriate.

Guidelines and Standards Policy Memo

November 2014

Five new guidance documents: BFE Mapping, FIRM Database Verification Tool (DVT), Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Mapping, First Order Approximations (FOA), and Levee Seclusion.

Updated 3 existing guidance documents: Base Map, Metadata, and National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL).

Guidance Documents

November 2014

Updates to six Technical References: Data Capture, Domain Tables, FIRM Database, Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report, Flood Risk Database, and Metadata Profiles.  Updates included adding implementation instructions and a table of revisions.

Technical References

May 2014

There were three standards changes. A revision to standard 387 to address Federal Register Flood Hazard Determinations Notice requirements.  Two new standards, 601 related to Community Map Repository address requirements and 602 which addresses Levee system data sources.

Guidelines and Standards Policy Memo

May 2014

As part of the guidance transformation process, the following list of guidance documents were created:

Base Map, Discovery, Vertical Datum, Quality Review, Stakeholder Engagement: Discovery, Coastal Data Capture, Coastal Barrier Resources System, General Coastal Considerations, Coastal Study Documentation and Intermediate Data Submittals, National Flood Hazard Layer, Notice-to-User, Quality Management, Flood Risk Database, Flood Risk Map, Flood Risk Report, Changes Since Last FIRM, Flood Depth Analysis Grids, Flood Risk Assessments, Areas of Mitigation Interest, Coastal-Specific Non-Regulatory Datasets, FIRM Graphics, FIRM Index, and Metadata.

Guidance Documents

May 2014

Flood Risk Database Technical Reference was updated to include an official matrix showing the correct coding of fields for Pre_Zone and New_Zone Combination.

Other Technical References updates included the removal of guidance (as part of the guidance transformation) and to make minor corrections.

Technical References

August 2013

FEMA implemented a transformation of the guidelines and standards for flood risk mapping.  These standards are consistent with the previous requirements for FEMA flood risk mapping.  However, they represent a significant change in the way the requirements are organized that FEMA expects to result in more consistency nationally and improve production efficiency for the flood mapping program.

The new approach clearly organizes standards and guidance separate categories, avoids ambiguity with respect to what is truly mandatory and what is recommended that existed in the prior combined guidelines and standards for flood hazard mapping documents and clarifies areas of flexibility creating opportunities for more efficient approaches.

Additionally, few changes were implemented through the policy memo, notably non-accredited levee analysis and mapping procedures, refinements to the definition of the Risk MAP process and products, requirements for documentation of the basis for SFHA designations, requirements for an initial estimate of the likely impacts of new analysis, new requirements for considering dune erosion, new vertical datum conversion requirements, updated lidar specifications, an updated quality management process and a few other minor refinements.

Guidelines and Standards Policy Memo

November 2011

Appendix K was updated (along with Appendix L) to reflect a more automated map creation protocol with less manual cartographic finishing. Changes to the FIRM graphics reflected in this revision include the addition of colors and other improvements to the symbols to help communicate risk more efficiently.  To this end, floodways and areas behind levees are symbolized more prominently. Base Flood Elevation (BFE) labels, rounded to the tenth of a foot, are now shown on cross sections. Additional interpolated BFEs may still be placed between cross sections to facilitate elevation determinations.  The overall page size and layout of the FIRM has been changed to a more standard page size and the map collar information was streamlined.

Appendix K

November 2011

Appendix L was updated (along with Appendix K) to reflect changes made to the FIRM panel, the FIS Report (including the Map Index) and the Data Capture Standards.  This update allowed for more automated and streamlined production of the FEMA regulatory products.  Changes to the FIRM Database implemented in this update include inclusion of key engineering data previously specified in Appendix M, new tables to store information needed to automate the FIS Report tables and profiles, greater reliance on the profile baseline and updated delivery file formats.

 

Appendix L

July 2011

Appendix I revision provided additional guidance to be used by project teams while performing Discovery for Risk MAP projects, including an emphasis on up-front stakeholder coordination, engagement prior to meeting with communities and the desired outcomes expected as part of the process.

 

Appendix I

November 2009

Added clarification on documentation requirements; hydrology guidance updates for rainfall-runoff modeling, statistical analyses, 1D steady flow, 1D unsteady flow, and 2D modeling; floodway guidance updates for 1D steady flow, 1D unsteady flow, 2D, and link-node models and floodplain delineation guidance updates for 1D and 2D models.

Appendix C

April 2003

Revised FEMA process for maintaining these guidelines and requirements for Physical Map Revision (PMR) request submittals.

Introduction

April 2003

Added discussion of Monitoring Information on Contracted Studies (MICS) system, methods for updating alluvial fan flood hazards; added final digital Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) deliverable specifications; added description of revised countywide FIRM distribution protocol; updated Letter of Map Change (LOMC) Distribution Service discussion to include Final Summaries of Map Action (SOMAs) and LOMC-VALID letters.

Volume 1

April 2003

Added guidance on Report and Map Production, processing for PMRs consistent with Volume 1; updated SOMA and LOMC validation process; added guidance for the preparation of LOMR attachments.

 

Volume 2

April 2003

Added requirements for Final SOMA and LOMC Distribution Service product; replaced requirements for Credited Structures Inventory System with requirements for FEMA Levee Inventory System; added requirements for production of Compendium of Flood Map Changes; revised requirements for use and maintenance of MICS system; added information on technical and administrative support data available from the FEMA archives, current fees, removed requirement for delivery of hard copy FIS report as part of deliverables for Engineering Study Data Package; provided clarification on deliverables for Letter of Determination Review requests and revised requirements for maintenance of Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) Database.

 

Volume 3

April 2003

Deleted NIMA's Vector Product Format (VPF) and added MapInfo's native tabular format (TAB); also added requirement to document the geoid model and ellipsoid used.

Appendix A

April 2003

Reference made to the new FEMA Levee Inventory System; clarification added for levee freeboard requirements.

 

Appendix H

April 2003

Added subsection explaining the Mapping Needs Update Support System (MNUSS) template; revised the Community Partner Memorandum and Agreement template; revised Statement of Work template; added table to show correlations between templates and data in MICS system; added requirements for CTP Mapping Activity Statements and templates.

Appendix I

April 2003

Revised guidance for Preliminary FIS reports and final FIS report deliverable format; added examples of Flood Insurance Zone Data tables.

 

Appendix J

April 2003

Changed numerous FIRM graphic specifications.

Appendix K

April 2003

Updated Standard DFIRM database specifications; added enhanced DFIRM database specifications.

Appendix L

April 2003

Added form for certification of work on Flood Map Projects; clarified requirements for submittal of Technical Support Data Notebook (TSDN) Indexes and inserted revised Indexes; added general TSDN requirements for coastal flooding analyses, shallow flooding analyses, ice-jam flooding analyses and alluvial fan flooding analyses; clarified requirements for receiving Mapping Partner review of data submitted in support of community-initiated map revision.

Appendix M

Last Updated: 
04/11/2019 - 16:05