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Floodplain Management Requirements for Agricultural and Accessory Structures

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a guidance bulletin that clarifies and refines the requirements that apply to certain agricultural structures and accessory structures located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Earlier this year, FEMA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), David Maurstad, signed the FEMA Policy Floodplain Management Requirements for Agricultural Structures and Accessory Structures into effect.

The purpose of this policy is to acknowledge the unique characteristics and uses of agricultural and accessory structures within the SFHA to ensure sound development and promote public health, safety, and welfare. The guidance document clarifies the definition of agricultural structures and accessory structures and establishes a clear, consistent process for ensuring compliance with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) design and performance standards for those structures located within the SFHA. It should be used as a reference for floodplain managers and those involved in regulating, planning, designing, and constructing agricultural structures and accessory structures in SFHAs.

As defined in the policy, an agricultural structure is a structure used exclusively in connection with the production, harvesting, storage, raising, or drying of agricultural commodities and livestock. Further, an accessory structure refers to a structure that is on the same parcel of property as a principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure, such as a detached garage, carport, or storage shed.

For more information reach to the Floodplain Management Division at


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