Skip Navigation

Flooding & Flood Risks

Understanding Flood Maps

Determining the Risk

To identify a community's flood risk, FEMA conducts a Flood Insurance Study. The study includes statistical data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys. FEMA uses this data to create the flood hazard maps that outline your community's different flood risk areas.

Floodplains and areas subject to coastal storm surge are shown as high-risk areas or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Some parts of floodplains may experience frequent flooding while others are only affected by severe storms. However, areas directly outside of these high-risk areas may also find themselves at considerable risk.

Understanding Your Area

Changing weather patterns, erosion, and development can affect floodplain boundaries. FEMA is currently updating and modernizing the nations Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS). These digital flood hazard maps provide an official depiction of flood hazards for each community and for properties located within it.

FEMA has published almost 100,000 individual Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). See your map and learn how to read it so you can make informed decisions about protecting your property, both financially and structurally.

Undergoing a Map Change >>

Learn your risk, and find an agent, by taking Your Risk Profile.

PRIMARY RESIDENCE DISCLAIMER


For flood insurance rating purposes, a primary residence is a building that will be lived in by the insured or the insured's spouse for at least 80 percent of the 365 days following the policy effective date. If the building will be lived in for less than 80 percent of the policy year, it is considered to be a non-primary residence.

How Can I get Covered?

  • Rate your risk
  • Estimate your premiums
  • Find an agent
 

Contact Us | Site Map | Help | NFIP
Change font size
Last Updated: Sunday, 13-Apr-2014, 4:35 PM (EDT)

500 C Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20472
Disaster Assistance: (800) 621-FEMA, TTY (800) 462-7585
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FEMA Home | Contact FEMA | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | FOIA | USA.gov | DHS | Agent Site | Accessibility