Flood Insurance Rate Map Determination Process

Before being approved and made effective, flood insurance rate maps (FIRMS) undergo a determination process which includes opportunities for public feedback from community officials and property owners. The Life Cycle of a Flood Insurance Rate Map image and accompanying description below describe how a FIRM goes from assessment to final determination.

Life Cycle of a Flood Insurance Map

Life Cycle of a Flood Insurance Map

1. Discovery

FEMA conducts an assessment too determine if a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is required. If necessary, engineers will reevaluate flood zones and develop a new FIRM using LiDAR technology and GIS.

2. Flood Risk Review

After FEMA conducts a Flood Risk Review (FRR), results are shared with the community through a presentation and an introduction of the draft FIRM at an FRR meeting. Feedback is collected.

3. FIRM Goes “Preliminary”

Using data and feedback, the new FIRM is finalized. The effective date for the map is determined. Changes after this step will require formal appeals.

4. CCO Meeting

The Community Coordination Outreach (CCO) meeting is held to present local officials with the effective map and to discuss the accompanying Floodplain Ordinance, a 90-day appeals window opens and the local government is given six months to formally adopt the Floodplain Ordinance.

5. Pre-LFD/Open House Meetings

The public is invited to view effective maps and ask questions about the Floodplain Ordinance at the Pre-LFD Meeting. The “open House” meeting is optional and can occur before or after the Letter of Final Determination (LFD).

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