FEMA Flood Map Changes: Understanding the Latest Revisions

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for creating flood maps. These are maps that identify what areas will be flooded in the event of a large storm or hurricane. FEMA has recently made some revisions to their map, and many people are wondering how this new information affects them. Here’s what you need to know about these changes!

FEMA flood map changes

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for creating flood maps. These are maps that identify what areas will be flooded in the event of a large storm or hurricane. FEMA has recently made some revisions to their map, and many people are wondering how this new information affects them. Here’s what you need to know about these changes!
  • In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage across New York City and other parts of the East Coast. As part of its response plan, FEMA created updated digital elevation data for specific regions impacted by Hurricane Sandy – including Manhattan, Staten Island, Hoboken NJ, Atlantic Highlands NJ and Keansburg NJ – as well as more than 115 municipalities on Long Island where flooding was documented during  the storm.

FEMA also created a separate map for Staten Island that includes updated digital elevation data from the 2013 Arthur Avenue fire and used this data to produce a supplemental map for New York City that shows areas of flooding during Hurricane Sandy, as well as the five boroughs’ susceptibility to future flooding.

How to get out of a flood zone?

FEMA flood maps are revised every five years. You can use the new FEMA digital elevation data to see if your property is in an area that may be more susceptible to flooding. If you reside in such an area, it may make sense for you or someone on your behalf to purchase higher ground rather than just relying on insurance coverage.

For example, people with homes at risk of being flooded by a one-in-ten chance each year could save money and increase their safety by buying out from future flood risks for as little as $200 per year instead of paying about $20-$30 per month for federal flood insurance premiums that don’t cover all damages or repairs caused by floods.

How often does FEMA update flood maps?

FEMA updates its flood maps every five years. It is important to know how often FEMA reevaluates and revises their maps because it can affect the cost of insurance premiums, interest rates on loans for a home or business, as well as other factors such as future development in high-risk areas that could increase your chance of flooding after buying property.

The average time between revisions has been about six years but there are some exceptions; recent changes were made in 2009 while others weren’t updated until 2003. The last revision was completed in July 2015 with new estimates being released October 15th, 2016.

There have also been more frequent modifications over the past few decades due to an increased need for better data accuracy concerning flood risk and an increase in the number of people affected by flooding.

FEMA flood map revisions

FEMA maintains and updates data through  its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is the only source of flood insurance available to residents in some communities.

This program provides a way for individuals, homeowners and business owners to purchase federal coverage against flooding without having to find out if they are located within a high-risk area; it also assists with mitigating risk in these areas through community outreach programs.

The last revision was completed July 2015 with new estimates being released October 15th, 2016. There have been more frequent modifications over the past few decades due to an increased need for better data accuracy concerning flood risk and an increase of people affected by flooding. FEMA’s mapping process includes three phases: gathering information on current conditions from communities/ property owners; updating or creating.

How to remove flood insurance requirement?

If FEMA grants the map amendment or revision request, you might not have to pay for flood insurance. You can get a determination document from them and then send it to your lender. The lender should then remove the federal flood insurance requirement for your home.

How to change flood zone determination?

This process is more difficult and time-consuming than removing a determination, but it may be possible. The first step would be to get the FEMA map amendment or revision request approved by them.

Then you’ll need an engineering survey for your property – this could cost thousands of dollars depending on whether you hire someone locally or have one done in house (which can take months). After that, you will submit the surveys to FEMA and wait again for approval before moving forward with your plan.

This effort might not work if there are other factors such as zoning restrictions since Federal agencies don’t control those decisions.

What is flood letter?

A letter sent to a property owner within the 100-year floodplain or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), informing them of their risk for flooding and what they can do about it. The letter will include information on how often FEMA updates its maps, state programs available for participating homeowners, help with insurance affordability through NFIP’s Map Change Request program, as well as other resources such as how to remove your home from the SFHA map altogether.

To be eligible to receive this notification letter you must have purchased an existing house that is at least one year old and located in a mapped high-risk area., not been previously notified by mail regarding the existence of these risks.

What is FEMA Flood Zone A?

Zone A is the flood protection rate that corresponds to the I-percent annual chance floodplains. This means that if there is a flood, it will happen about once every 100 years. There are no Base Flood Elevations or depths in this zone because detailed hydraulic analyses are not performed for these areas.

What does flood zone AE 7 mean?

Base flood elevation is the height of your home, and it is after the “EL” in the zone designation. For example, a zone of AE-EL8 means that you are in Zone AE with a base flood elevation requirement of 8 feet. If you own an expensive house, buy flood insurance.

FEMA is constantly revising their flood maps. The last major revision was in September 2016, and the next update will be on March 1st of this year. To stay up to date with changes and to get out of a flood zone as quickly as possible, you should contact your insurance company or go online and check for yourself if any revisions have been made since the last time you checked. If there are no changes then it’s likely that there won’t be any more updates until at least 2020 unless something drastic happens again like Hurricane Harvey or Irma did recently.

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