This page provides Risk MAP program and flood hazard mapping related information as it relates to homeowners, renters and business owners.
As part of the Risk MAP program, FEMA is working with communities across the country to develop flood hazard maps and other products that accurately show flood risk and to help reduce that risk. You, as a homeowner, business owner or renter, also play a role in reducing flood risk. When it comes to flooding, FEMA recommends that you:
- Know Your Risk from flooding;
- Know Your Role when it comes to keeping safe from and reducing flood risk; and
- Take Action to reduce your risk from flooding.
Know Your Risk
Remember, just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Everyone, from homeowners to renters to business owners, should consider taking actions, like buying flood insurance and making mitigation changes to reduce their risk.
FEMA works with local communities to develop Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that are intended to inform flood insurance premiums and to help communities plan for flooding and establish local land use regulations. Understanding the flood risk depicted on these maps can help you take steps now to keep your family, home and workplace safe from harm. Here are ways you can find out your community’s flood risk:
- View the effective FEMA flood map for your location at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. Read the Product and Tools Overview page for different viewing options through Google Earth and the FEMA GeoPlatform
- Contact your community’s floodplain administrator (often an official in the zoning or planning department) to learn more about local flood risks in your area. They can also tell you whether a flood risk project is underway that affects your community
- This fact sheet may help you begin to understand what the terms on a flood map mean and how your flood risk may affect you: Flooding, Are You At Risk?
Know Your Role
When it comes to keeping safe from flooding and reducing flood risk, everyone has a role because flooding can affect everyone. As a property owner, business owner or renter, make sure you understand the flood risk for your property and the best ways to keep you, your loved ones and your property safe from flooding now and in the future.
There are many things you can do now to reduce the risk to your family and property from flooding:
- Buy flood insurance. Even if you are not located in a high risk flood zone (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA), remember that flooding can happen anywhere it rains.
- Reduce your risk from flooding by buying or building outside of the SFHA, or consider making changes to your home to protect it against future floods. Learn more through the following resources:
- Mitigation for Property Owners
- Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding
- Protect Your Property from Flooding
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.
- If you think your property has been inadvertently mapped in a flood zone, you may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). If the request is approved, you may be eligible for lower flood insurance premiums or the option to not buy flood insurance. However, keep in mind that nearly 25% of flood insurance claims occur outside of high risk flood zones. Also, remember that federal disaster assistance is not a substitute for flood insurance. Disaster assistance is not available for smaller, more frequent flooding events and the most common form of assistance is a loan which must be repaid with interest, unlike flood insurance. Consider continuing your flood insurance policy coverage even if you’re no longer required to do so.
- 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.
More Resources for Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners
- Risk MAP Program
- Risk MAP Project Lifecycle Page
- FEMA Flood Hazard Mapping
- Flood: Am I At Risk?
- Flood Hazard Mapping: Information for Homeowners
- Living with Levees: Information for Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners
- Coastal Flood Risk: Information for Homeowners, Renters and Business Owners
- FEMA Flood Map Service Center (The official source for FEMA flood maps)
- FloodSmart.gov (The official website of the NFIP)
Contact a Map Specialist at the FEMA Mapping and Insurance eXchange through the following methods, if you have any questions:
- Call (1-877) FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627) Monday through Friday, 8:00 am through 7:00 pm (EST)
- Email FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com
- Chat with a Map Specialist Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST)
To understand your flood risk and view your flood maps, visit the Flood Map Service Center (MSC).
To learn more about the Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how to get flood insurance, visit www.Floodsmart.gov.
Take action to Plan & Prepare for yourself, your family, and your community.