FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs)

FIRM is the official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community. Find more information at their website, https://msc.fema.gov/portal

Why Use FIRM

  • Community officials use the FIRM to administer floodplain management regulations and to mitigate flood damage.
  • Lending institutions and federal agencies use the FIRM to locate properties and buildings in relation to mapped flood hazards, and to determine whether flood insurance is required when making loans or providing grants following a disaster for the purchase or construction of a building.
  • Private citizens and insurance and brokers use the FIRM to locate properties and buildings in flood insurance risk areas.

How to Read FIRM

This tutorial educates users on the use and application of FEMA FIRMs. Each component of the FIRM is explored. The tutorial includes a section that contains examples of getting specific information from FIRMs.

How to Change or Correct a FIRM

FEMA has established administrative procedures for changing effective FIRMs based on new or revised scientific or technical data.