Regulatory Update Phase

Phase Three of the Risk Map Process Path

(Click to enlarge)

FEMA periodically updates the flood hazard maps to better define potential risks due to flooding. FEMA intends to proactively combine quality engineering with state-of-the-art flood hazard data, and increase public awareness of the risks associated with living in flood prone areas. This awareness will lead to actions that reduce risk and impacts to life and property. The flood hazard maps will be issued to you in the form of a Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).


Option 1 - Opportunity to Implement Mitigation Actions


Option 2 - Update Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS)

Preliminary Map Issuance

Delivery of the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) provides an opportunity for community officials and FEMA mapmakers to meet and discuss the maps produced using the information gathered and shared during Discovery. Ample time is given for the communities to understand the proposed maps and submit any comments to FEMA. Upon release of the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), the communities will have approximately 30 days to review the preliminary information. During that time, the FEMA Regional Office will coordinate a date and time to formally present the study results during a Community Consultation Officers (CCO) Meeting. Risk MAP products and the preliminary FIRM data will also be release publicly on this website.

Next Steps

    Local Community Officials

  • Review FIRMs, submit comments to FEMA
  • Locals officials engage residents about flood risk at local events
  • FEMA/State and Communities

  • 30-day community comment period commences
  • Products/Tools Prepared for Use

  • Changes Since Last FIRM (CSLF) Shapefile
  • Preliminary DFIRM Newsletter
  • www.RiskMAP6.com Web Site launch

Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) Meeting Back to top

The CCO Meeting is held by the project team for the local officials in communities receiving new or updated regulatory products such as the FIRM and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report. The purpose of the CCO Meeting is to present the preliminary FIRM panels and data to stakeholders, including community officials, before presenting the information to the public.

Next Steps

    FEMA and State Entities

  • Hold Regulatory Meeting with local officials
  • Local Community Officials

  • Review preliminary FIRM/FIS, provide comments to FEMA
  • Locals officials engage residents about flood risk at local events
  • FEMA/State and Communities

  • Discuss possible outreach opportunities within the community
  • Products/Tools Prepared for Use

  • Public Meeting (optional)

Important Points to Remember:

  • While FEMA was drafting the preliminary FIRM, we shared the results with you and listened to your comments and concerns regarding potential revisions to your maps. This is another opportunity to submit comments/concerns regarding the revisions made to the FIRMs and FIS.
  • Teamwork is vital to our collective success of identifying the risk through the mapping process, communicating the risk within the community(ies), and making informed decisions about how to address the risk.
  • We want to understand how we can best support your efforts in communicating the release of these preliminary FIRMs and FIS report and other outreach efforts.
  • We want to understand how we can best support your efforts in adopting the new FIRMs and updated FIS report.
  • Take note of your flood insurance status. It may benefit you to purchase flood insurance before the revised FIRMs and FIS report become effective. In addition, a low-cost policy may be available.
  • Information in the new regulatory maps can be incorporated into mitigation plan updates.
  • Participation in the Community Rating System can benefit residents and business owners through reduced flood insurance costs. Take the opportunity to find out more and determine if CRS is right for your community.

Public Appeal and Comment Period Back to top

Approximately three to four weeks after the Community Consultation Officers (CCO) Meeting, FEMA will place a notification of Proposed Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) in the local newspaper and on FEMA’s website. There will be two publications in the local newspaper(s) within a 10-day period immediately following the notification to the community.

The second newspaper publication begins a 90-Day appeal and comment period. The appeal and comment period allows citizens to appeal the modified BFEs or document concerns on the preliminary maps. FEMA welcomes information because additional proven scientific and technical information increases the accuracy of the maps and better reflects the community’s flood risks identified on the FIRMs.

Next Steps

    FEMA and State Entities

  • Review data received
  • Local Community Officials

  • Submit comments, protests, and appeals to FEMA
  • FEMA/State and Communities

  • 90-day appeal/protest or protest/comment period commences

Revised Preliminary Maps Issued Back to top

The objectives of this phase are to plan for preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) release, build consensus with communities on impacts as a result of changes to the regulatory map during the Appeal and Comment Period, and encourage mitigation implementation and use of available resources. Activities that occur during this phase include sharing the proposed Changes Since Last FIRM dataset, planning for a revised preliminary FIRM and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) release, and building and understanding of the impacts resulting from changes.

Next Steps

    FEMA/State and Communities

  • 30-day community comment period commences

Letter of Final Determination Back to top

After all comments are addressed and any revisions to FIRMs are complete, FEMA sends community leaders a Letter of Final Determination (LFD) stating that the preliminary FIRM will become effective in six months. The letter also notifies each affected floodprone community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that it must adopt a compliant floodplain management ordinance by the map effective date to remain participants in good standing in the NFIP.

Next Steps

    Local Community Officials

  • Locals officials engage residents about flood risk at local events
  • Contact State NFIP Coordinator for model ordinance (if available)
  • Update Local Floodplain Ordinance
  • FEMA/State and Communities

  • 6-month compliance period commences
  • Discuss possible outreach opportunities within the community
  • Products/Tools Prepared for Use

  • Insurance Public Meeting (optional)
  • Local Insurance and Lender Training

Effective Map Issuance Back to top

After the preceding steps are complete, communities have updated local floodplain ordinances and the six-month compliance period ends, the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are then considered effective maps. This date is the date on which the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map for a community becomes effective and all sanctions of the NFIP apply. Therefore, an effective FIRM is the NFIP map issued by FEMA that is in effect as of the date shown in the title block of the map. Insurance is now rated on these maps as of its official effective issuance date.

Next Steps

    Local Community Officials

  • Review local development for Conditional LOMRs
  • Assist local residents with LOMR submittals
  • Review changes in land use within watershed (flow changes)
  • Submit LOMRs within 6 months of project completion
  • Products/Tools Prepared for Use

  • National Flood Hazard Layer

Map Maintenance Back to top

If physical changes to the floodplain have changed the flood hazard information shown on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), a revision must be requested. Maintaining flood maps is a community’s responsibility and the best way to reflect up-to-date risk information to citizens. It is necessary to identify risk before actions are taken to reduce it. Accurate maps are key to community planning efforts and the preparedness of all citizens during flooding events.

Next Steps

    FEMA and State Entities

  • Review LOMR updates for funding as required
  • Engage with local officials for required assistance
  • Local Community Officials

  • Submit information to CNMS for update
  • Products/Tools Prepared for Use

  • Map Service Center Web Site

Important Points to Remember:

  • If your community is growing, floodplains are changing. Communities should contact FEMA or their State NFIP Coordinator for questions concerning Letters of Map Revision (LOMRs).
  • Development, changes to land use and stormwater management projects result in the continuous need for map updates. Without good representation of the flood hazards, you can’t reduce your risk.
  • Don’t wait for the next mapping project to update your maps. Work with the Floodplain administrator or your State NFIP Coordinator to keep your maps up-to-date through LOMRs.
  • More information is available on LOMRs at http://www.fema.gov/online-tutorials/letter-map-amendment/letter-map-revision-f-tutorial-series-choose-tutorial.

The intent of Risk MAP is to foster awareness public awareness of local natural hazard risk in order to make educated decisions for your home and family. Fully implemented, Risk MAP will result in a more informed public that is empowered to take action to reduce its flood risk. Click here to learn more about what you can do to take action.

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