FEMA GUIDELINES AND REFERENCES
FEMA provides guidance, references and forms that cover a wide range of topics that are used by the state and local communities.
Map Service Center and Questions about the NFIP
To understand your flood risk and view your flood maps, visit the Flood Map Service Center (MSC), and National Flood Insurance Program & Answers to Questions about the NFIP.
Map Change Forms
Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) are based on the best hydrologic, hydraulic, topographic, survey information, and engineering modeling available at the time of creating the maps. However, no map is perfect and no flooding situation is static. If a property owner believes that their property is mapped incorrectly, they have the opportunity to retain the services of an Arizona-licensed civil engineer or land surveyor to produce technical data and undertake the necessary engineering analysis to prove their case. The supporting data is attached to an application for a “Letter of Map Change” (LOMC) (described in more detail below):
Use the MT-EZ form for:
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): Used to request that FEMA remove a single structure or legally recorded parcel of land or portions thereof from a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). A LOMA is an official amendment to the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is a letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land not elevated by fill (i.e., natural grade) would not be inundated by the base flood.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Elevation Certificate (EC) (FEMA form 086-0-33) is an administrative tool of the NFIP which is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Amendment based on fill (LOMR-F).
Technical Bulletins are issued by FEMA to provide guidance on the building standards of the NFIP. The bulletins cover a wide range of topics and are used by state and local community officials who enforce floodplain regulations and engineers, builders and developers associated with projects in high hazard flooding areas.
Guide-01 User's Guide to Technical Bulletins (FIA-TB-0) - Provides a list of available technical bulletins, a keyword/subject reference index for all the bulletins, and information about how to obtain copies of the bulletins.
Technical Bulletin 1: Openings in Foundation Walls and Walls of Enclosures
Technical Bulletin 2: Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements
Technical Bulletin 3: Non-Residential Floodproofing – Requirements and Certification
Technical Bulletin 4: Elevator Installation
Technical Bulletin 5: Free-of-Obstruction Requirements
Technical Bulletin 6: Below-Grade Parking Requirements
Technical Bulletin 7: Wet Floodproofing Requirements
Technical Bulletin 8: Corrosion Protection for Metal Connectors in Coastal Areas
Technical Bulletin 9: Design and Construction Guidance for Breakaway Walls Below Elevated Coastal Buildings
Technical Bulletin 10: Ensuring that Structures Built on Fill In or Near Special Flood Hazard Areas are Reasonably Safe From Flooding
Technical Bulletin 11: Crawlspace Construction for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas
Community Rating System
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary, FEMA-administered program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP standards. Depending upon the level of participation, flood insurance premium rates for policyholders can be reduced up to 45%. In addition to the benefit of reduced insurance rates, CRS floodplain management activities enhance public safety, reduce damages to property and public infrastructure, lessen economic disruption and losses, reduce human suffering, and protect the environment. Participating in the CRS provides an incentive for maintaining and improving a community's floodplain management program over the years.
FEMA's publications are floodplain guidelines and resources issued to provide guidance on the building standards of the NFIP. These publications cover a wide range of topics and are used by state and local community officials (who enforce floodplain regulations and engineers), builders, and developers associated with projects in high hazard flooding areas.
Please see FEMA's website for all publications.
FEMA 480 - National Flood Insurance Program, Floodplain Management Requirements
- A study guide and desk reference for local officials and FEMA (FEMA 480). This publication can be used as a study guide to enhance the knowledge and skills of local officials responsible for administering and enforcing local floodplain management regulations. It is also intended to broaden the understanding of floodplain management strategies that can be applied at the local level. Local officials and others can also use the study guide to help study for the exam for the Association of State Floodplain Manager's (ASFPM) Certified Floodplain Manager designation. Guidance is included on how to handle many of the issues and information provided that will help floodplain managers explain the requirements to citizens of your community.
FEMA P-758 - Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference.
- To participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), communities must adopt and enforce regulations and codes that apply to new development in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Local floodplain management regulations and codes contain minimum NFIP requirements that apply not only to new structures but also to existing structures which are “substantially improved (SI)” or “substantially damaged (SD).” This Desk Reference provides practical guidance and suggested procedures to implement the NFIP requirements for SI/SD.
FEMA P-936 - Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings.
- The primary focus of this guidance document is on dry floodproofing technologies for non-residential buildings. It also includes an overview of other techniques including wet floodproofing and the use of levees and floodwalls. The publication provides information about regulatory requirements, design considerations, and descriptions of floodproofing methods and equipment. Key document features include: 1) Tools to assist the designer or building owner in determining the best flood proofing option for a particular building, including a vulnerability checklist, 2) Case studies providing examples of applied flood proofing techniques, 3) Equations for determining flood forces and loads, 4) A summary of results from recent dry floodproofing research and testing for new construction.
FEMA P-85 - Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards.
- FEMA P-85 has been updated to reflect the requirements of the most current codes and standards and to provide the best practices approach to reducing damages from natural hazards. While the original version of FEMA 85 concentrated on flood and wind events, this version also addresses seismic hazards and recommends several multi-hazard resistant foundation designs. Designs are included for wood-framed foundations, conventional concrete and masonry pier foundations, and ground anchors. The ground anchor foundations are based on results from a series of first-of-its-kind saturated and dry soil anchor tests.
Technical Bulletin 1-98: Use of Best Available Flood Insurance Study as Available Data -Floodplain Management Bulletin 1-98 provides guidance on the use of FEMA draft or preliminary Flood Insurance Study data as available data for regulating floodplain development.