Determine Your Flood Risk

Use the PA Flood Map Tool to help you make an informed decision about your flood risk.

Whether you’re a homeowner, homebuyer, tenant, insurance provider, or floodplain manager, it’s important to know and anticipate your current and future flood risk status. To aid your research, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development has created the PA Flood Map Tool to help you make informed decisions about flood risk. This step-by-step interactive process is designed to help you understand your flood risk and what your next steps should be based on your personalized results. If you live in a community where flood maps are being updated, determining your flood risk is an important task. Updates to the maps, which are occurring throughout the state, can affect your flood insurance.

HOW FLOOD MAP UPDATES AFFECT INSURANCE

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) releases the digital flood insurance maps (DFIRMs) on a community-by-community basis. It is important to investigate your flood risk status and contact your insurance agent to make necessary modifications to your coverage while the maps are still preliminary.

If your building is not currently in the floodplain but will be based on the updated DFIRM, it’s important to purchase flood insurance before the updated maps become effective as you might qualify for a plan at a reduced rate. If your building is currently in the floodplain, it’s still important to check your future flood risk status, as your coverage may need to change based on your situation.

Talking to your insurance provider is recommended if your building is in or out of the floodplain to make sure you are protected.

Note: Some mortgage providers may also require flood insurance if the floodplain is on your property and does not touch your building.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY FLOOD ZONE DESIGNATION?

Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs) and Letters of Map Revision (LOMR) enable property owners to request changes or updates to their property’s flood risk status to FEMA. Learn more about how to request a change to your flood zone designation at FEMA’s website.

HOW TO USE PENNSYLVANIA’S FLOOD RISK RESOURCES

Based on the location you select on the map, the PA Flood Map Tool can help determine your current flood risk based on effective flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) and assess your future flood risk based on preliminary digital FIRMs (DFIRMs). The application also contains a link to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance website, which will help you determine whether flood insurance is required or recommended for your property and how to obtain insurance if you do not already have it.

TAKE ACTION: RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS

Determine Your Insurance Coverage

  • If you already have flood insurance, locate a copy of your policy in your files or obtain it from your insurance agent.
  • If you are not sure if you have flood insurance, contact your insurance agent to inquire. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance; your flood insurance is separate from your homeowners insurance.

Reduce Your Risk

There are many things you can do now to reduce the risk to your family and property from flooding:

HOMEOWNERS FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM

In 2004, Congress passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Reform Act, which reformed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provided a means for property owners to protect themselves financially from flood events. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements. For information on how this legislation may affect you, please visit FEMA’s website.