Floodplain Management Publications for Local Officials

Link to FEMA’s Flood Publications


NFIP Floodplain Management Requirements – A Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local Officials

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Follow the links to publications and references useful for implementing floodplain management.

  • Protecting Floodplain Resources – A Guidebook for Communities:  This guidebook has been written to introduce officials and citizens at the local level to a basic understanding of natural resources in floodplains and to offer suggestions for creating strategies for wisely managing these important areas. As scientific understanding of ecosystems grows, the importance of conserving and restoring the natural resources and functions of floodplains is increasingly recognized. Historically effective floodplain management was recognized as a necessary task to reduce the loss of life and property. However, floodplain areas are now also recognized as having an intrinsic value of their own as a part of the interconnected ecosystem and an influential role in increasing a community’s quality of life.
  • Addressing Your Community’s Flood Problems, FEMA 309:  This manual provides technical guidance on how a local official can plan and take action to prepare the community for a flood disaster.
  • Reducing Losses in High Risk Flood Hazard Areas: A Guidebook for Local Officials:  This guidebook provides information to help local governments improve the effectiveness of their floodplain management programs for high risk areas that have special types of flood hazards beyond typical flooding.
  • Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding: A Guide for Communities, FEMA 511:  This guide is intended to help local offices in cities, towns, villages, and counties in the United States understand what they can do to reduce the damage, disruption, and public and private costs that result from the shallow, localized flooding that occurs within their jurisdictions. This is flooding that all too often escapes the attention received by larger floods or those that are clearly mapped and subject to floodplain development regulations.  Download the guide in PDF or as a CD.]
  • Use of Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Data 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
  • Historic Structures, FEMA 467-2:  The purpose of this floodplain management bulletin is to explain how the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) defines historic structure and how it gives relief to historic structures from NFIP floodplain management require­ments (44 CFR §60.3). This bulletin also provides guidance on mitigation measures that can be taken to minimize the devastating effects of flooding to historic structures.
  • Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction, FEMA 15
  • Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage, FEMA 348:   The overall objective of this document is to assist in the construction of buildings with building utility systems that are designed and built so that the buildings can be re-occupied and fully operational as soon as electricity and sewer and water are restored to the neighborhood.
  • Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA 85: This publication has been updated to reflect the requirements of the most current codes and standards and to provide a best practices approach in 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.



  • NFIP Question & Answer:  This booklet is intended to acquaint the public with the NFIP.  Despite the highly technical nature of the Program, there has been a deliberate effort to minimize the use of technical terms. This publication is designed for readers who do not need a detailed history or refined technical or legal explanations, but do need a basic understanding of the program and the answers to some frequently asked questions. Readers who need legal definitions should refer to the Standard Flood Insurance Policy and to NFIP and related regulations.
  • NFIP Technical Bulletins.  The bulletins are intended for use primarily by State and local officials responsible for interpreting and enforcing NFIP regulations and by members of the development community, such as design professionals and builders.  NFIP Technical Bulletins | FEMA.gov
  • Elevation Certificate, FEMA 467-1:  This bulletin is primarily intended to assist local floodplain management officials with responsibility for administering the community floodplain management ordinance and to assist land surveyors, architects, and engineers who are authorized by law to certify elevation information on the Elevation Certificate. Insurance professionals who use the Elevation Certificate for insurance rating purposes may also find this bulletin useful. The information contained in this Floodplain Management Bulletin is not intended to replace the Instructions section of the Elevation Certificate, but to supplement them.


Non-Engineered Opening Guide

The February 2015 Non-Engineering Opening Guide explains Compliance and Measurement Documentation of Non-Engineered Flood Openings for the Elevation Certificate in Accordance with the NFIP. The guide assists Surveyors, Floodplain Management, Construction Officials, and Insurance Professionals with identifying the net free area of Non-Engineered Openings found in the field.  Utilizing this guide to identify the net free area a Non-Engineered Opening vent provides will ensure sections A8 & A9 of the Elevation Certificate are accurately completed thus supplying the documentation to support compliance with the flood opening requirements.  Structures located in the floodplain (Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AR, AO, and AH ) with nonconforming flood openings are more susceptible to increased flood damage and increased flood insurance costs for the property owners.

Link here Non-Engineered Opening Guide.


Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings

There is a great article in the American Surveyor titled “Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings” by ASFPM’s Region 4 Regional Director, Terri L. Turner, AICP, CFM.  Surveyors and local floodplain officials will appreciate this useful resource that illustrates some important considerations when evaluating flood openings.

Click TheAmericanSurveyor_Turner-FloodOpenings_Vol10No6 for the article.


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