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Surface Water


Flood Maps (FIRMs)

FEMA has been creating flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) communities since the 1970s.  FIRMs show a community’s delineated flood zones and physical features such as highways, roads, railroads, canals, lakes, and rivers.

Community officials use FIRMs to administer floodplain management regulations and mitigate flood damage.  Lending institutions use FIRMs to determine if flood insurance will be required when making loans or providing grants for the purchase or construction of buildings.  Federal agencies use FIRMs to target areas for mitigation projects.

You may view your community’s FIRMs online at FEMA’s Map Service Center (  off site ) or at the office of the Floodplain Administrator in your local town or city.


Flood Insurance Studies (FIS)

A Flood Insurance Study (FIS) is a technical report that accompanies a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map.  The FIS describes the history of local flooding, the engineering methods (hydrologic and hydraulic analyses) that were used to develop the FIRMs, and contains flood profiles for studied flooding sources that can be used to determine base flood elevations for some areas.


Flood Management Program Navigation Links