Risk MAP Intro


What is Risk MAP?

Not only is flooding one of the most common and costly disasters, flood risk can also change over time because of new building and development, weather patterns and other factors. FEMA is working with federal, state, tribal and local partners across the nation to identify flood risk and help reduce that risk through the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) program.

Risk MAP provides high quality flood maps and information, tools to better assess the risk from flooding and planning and outreach support to communities to help them take action to reduce (or mitigate) flood risk. Each Risk MAP flood risk project is tailored to the needs of each community and may involve different products and services. Learn more about the goals and long term vision of Risk MAP, how the program works and what it means for you in the sections below.


Implementing Risk MAP

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to Risk MAP. While FEMA is responsible for the overall administration of the program, Risk MAP is a joint effort involving many other partners. Follow the links to learn what Risk MAP means for you.


Guidelines and Standards for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping

As part of this maintenance cycle, FEMA issued new guidance documents for RiskMAP and updated the related technical reference documents that define specific requirements for flood risk project deliverables. An overview of RiskMAP standards and guidance and access to all documents is available at http://www.fema.gov/guidelines-and-standards-flood-risk-analysis-and-mapping.  RiskMAP instituted a semi-annual maintenance process for this policy to provide regular updates and procedures for mapping. Updates to the mapping standards will typically be issued twice yearly.


FEMA Issues Latest Update to Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping Standards

November 28, 2016

FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) updated the Guidance and Standards that it uses in its flood mapping and risk analysis efforts. There are six revised standards, three new standards, and one rescinded standard in this maintenance cycle in addition to a number of updated guidance and technical reference documents.

Several of these updates to Risk MAP guidance and technical references begin implementing recommendations from the Technical Mapping Advisory Council’s (TMAC) 2015 recommendations. TMAC related updates include requirements for reporting the accuracy of elevation data used, guidance on selecting engineering models, and procedures for reviewing new statistical models for use. FIMA also enhanced the standards and guidance development process and updated the policy to address the TMAC recommendation to consider the cost of implementation for new requirements and address the costs consistently.

The updated standards address requirements for emergency operation plans for levee accreditation, clarify requirements for incorporating Letters Of Map Revisions into map updates, update requirements for processing Physical Map Revisions (PMRs) update Notice to Users (NTU) requirements, update requirements for flood risk product automation, update distribution requirements for Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Reports, and formalize several standards for removal of the special flood hazard area designation by letter consistent with current practice.

FIMA conducted a public review of the draft standards earlier this year. FIMA regularly updates these guidance and technical reference documents to ensure ongoing improvements in its flood mapping and risk analysis efforts. The actual standards and related guidance are available at www.fema.gov/guidelines-and-standards-flood-risk-analysis-and-mapping.


Revised Guidelines for Executive Order 11988 Floodplain Management & the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

October 12, 2015

On October 8, 2015, the Water Resources Council approved revised Guidelines for Implementing Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management, and Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.

Fact Sheets:  FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have produced fact sheets in response to several frequently asked questions regarding the intended scope of the President’s FFRMS and the anticipated impacts to many of the programs of these agencies.

Background:  Between 1980 and 2013, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related damages. On average, more people die annually from flooding than any other natural hazard. Further, the costs borne by the federal government are more than any other hazard. Flooding accounts for approximately 85 percent of all disaster declarations. With climate change, we anticipate that flooding risks will increase over time. In fact, the National Climate Assessment (May 2014) projects that extreme weather events, such as severe flooding, will persist throughout the 21st century. That damage can be particularly severe to our infrastructure, including our buildings, roads, ports, industrial facilities and even our coastal military installations.

To improve the nation’s resilience to flooding and better prepare the nation for the impacts of climate change, the President’s Climate Action Plan directs federal agencies to take the appropriate actions to reduce flood risk to federal investments. To further the Climate Action Plan, the President released Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input, which amended EO 11988, Floodplain Management, issued in 1977. The new federal flood risk standard requires all future federal investments in and affecting floodplains to meet the level of resilience as established by the standard. For example, this includes where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged.

Consistent with the President’s direction, FEMA, as Chair of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, published for public comment in the Federal Register draft guidelines to provide guidance to agencies on the implementation of EOs 13690 and 11988 (80 FR 6530, Feb. 5, 2015). After an extension, the public comment period lasted 90 days, during which FEMA and other members of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group held eight in-person public listening sessions across the country and one public webinar, to ensure input from stakeholders and the public.  More Information:  Please visit the Federal Flood Risk Management page.


FEMA 101: Flood Mapping

Through FEMA’s flood hazard mapping program, Risk MAP, FEMA identifies flood hazards, assesses flood risks and partners with states and communities to provide accurate flood hazard and risk data to guide them to mitigation actions. Flood hazard mapping is an important part of the NFIP, as it is the basis of the NFIP regulations and flood insurance requirements. FEMA maintains and updates data through Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and risk assessments. FIRMs include statistical information such as data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses and rainfall and topographic surveys.

FEMA uses the best available technical data to create the flood hazard maps that outline your community’s flood risk areas.  Flood maps inform communities about the local flood risk and help set minimum floodplain standards for communities to build safely. They determine the cost of flood insurance, which helps property owners to financially protect themselves against flooding. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium will be. Flood maps are also the basis for flood insurance rates through the National Flood Insurance Program. By law, some may be required to get flood insurance if they live in the highest risk areas. However, flooding can happen anywhere; about twenty percent of all the flood claims come from areas with lower risk.

The process for developing and updating flood maps allows FEMA to work with communities and property owners at all steps of the process to incorporate the best available data into each community’s flood maps. Flood mapping projects typically take from three to five years to complete. Through the Risk Mapping Assessment Planning (MAP) program, flood maps are developed using the best available science developed by engineering experts. The mapping standards are published, vetted, peer revised and updated continuously to ensure they are up to date with current best practices. Through this collaborative process, a community can review, appeal and contribute to the development of a flood map before it is adopted by the community.

For an overview of all that goes into the flood map development process and the key engagement points with community officials, link to Flood Maps: Know Your Risk and Take Action Against Flooding.


Flood Map Service Center

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the NFIP. Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.  Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.


Check Your Community’s Preliminary Flood Hazard Data

FEMA has released an authoritative source for Preliminary Flood Hazard Data (preliminary data).  Moving forward, preliminary data will be available to the public in a centralized and easily accessible location, along with FEMA’s other flood mapping products and tools.  As data are released, they will populate in the new preliminary data search tool. You may access this tool through the Preliminary Flood Hazard Data FEMA webpage, or through FEMA’s Map Service Center (MSC) Product Catalog. Preliminary data available include new or revised preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports, and FIRM Databases.

This preliminary data search tool provides:

  • Centralized access and simple navigation to nation-wide preliminary flood hazard data
  • Quick and easy search functions
  • Ability to search for data by state and county
  • FEMA Mapping Information eXchange (FMIX) customer service support
  • Accessibility of both preliminary and effective data from the MSC


Change a Flood Zone Designation – Online Letter of Map Change

FEMA’s Online LOMC web application allows anyone to submit a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request online. This online page is intended for homeowners and other interested parties that wish to submit a LOMC application online instead of the paper form method.  If you believe your property has been inadvertently included in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you may now request a change over the web, instead of by mail.

Access the Online LOMC application to start a new application or check the status of your submitted application. If you do not wish to submit your request online, you may submit through FEMA’s other processes: eLOMA or through the MT-EZ, MT-1 or MT-2 paper forms submitted through the mail.


Elevation Certificate Information

Link to KAMM’s Elevation Certificate webpage for more information.







Have questions, contact us at help@kymitigation.org.  Don’t forget to join the KAMM group on LinkedIn and Facebook.