fema flood maps and elevation certification

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FEMA Flood Maps and Elevation Certification What is a Flood Map? Flood maps are integral part of communities’ disaster and emergency management system. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the governing body for all of the countries catastrophic events. Each community has a local FEMA office that monitors the conditions at regional levels. Community decisions made now affect the lives and investments of everyone in the community for decades. Smart community leaders plan now for the future in order to ensure the long-term safety and sustainability of their entire communities. There are many mitigating circumstances that affect every community. Some of these factors are: economic viability and diversity, job creation and growth, education for residents, crime, traffic, environment and so on. Leaders also need to e concerned about the communities risks from natural and manmade events which could negatively impact their residents. A community planner along the Wasatch Front, for example, would look at their community’s vulnerability to earthquakes and floods. FEMA and local community leaders work together to analyze risks and plan mitigation activities. Flood maps are one of the many tools used to plan for emergencies. There are two types of flood maps: Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBM) and Flood insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). FHBM’s are general maps to identify general boundaries where flood hazards are likely to occur. FIRM maps are used to assess the risks associated within a flood hazard area. FIRM maps are the regulatory documents governing rates for insurance premiums. An integral part of each FIRM is the Elevation Certificate. The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate Post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map for their area. As part of the agreement for making flood insurance available in a community, the NFIP requires the community to adopt floodplain management regulations that specify minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. One such requirement is for the community to obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings, and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate provides a way for a community to document compliance with the community’s floodplain management ordinance. The major problem with FIRM maps is the usage dates associated with each flood hazard area boundary. Most flood mapping procedures take years to complete. This time consuming work creates a lapse in coverage for newer buildings that integrate up-to- date technology to negate the effects associated with flooding. Luckily, there is a process for getting these maps updated for specific properties. Elevation Certificates are to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR- F). How does a Flood Insurance Rate Map effect my property? If a property owner believes that the requirement to purchase flood insurance was made in error and there is evidence that the building is not in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), or that the property has substantial improvements that mitigate flood damage potential, the applicant/insured may apply for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). A LOMA is a determination made by FEMA for property and/or building as to whether it is located within the SFHA. LOMA determinations are based on the following: • Comparing the location of the property to the SFHA. • Comparing the elevation of the property to the 1-percent-annual-chance flood elevation. In order to compare these criteria, a survey or engineering elevation certificate is required. The Elevation Certificate is to be completed by a land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is authorized by law to certify elevation information. Community officials who are authorized by law or ordinance to provide floodplain management information may also complete this form. Within certain zones a property owner, or an owner’s representative may provide information on this certificate, unless the elevations are intended for use in supporting a request for a LOMA or LOMR-F. Certified elevations must be included if the purpose of completing the Elevation Certificate is to obtain a LOMA or LOMR-F. The property owner, the owner’s representative, or local official who is authorized by law to administer the community floodplain ordinance can complete Section A and Section B. The partially completed form can then be given to the land surveyor, engineer, or architect to complete Section C. The land surveyor, engineer, or architect should verify the information provided by the property owner or owner’s representative to ensure that this certificate is complete. If, after plotting the location on the FIRM, the FEMA examiner finds that the property and/or building is not applicable to the SFHA, or the property has adequately engineered flood protection devices, then the the mandatory flood insurance requirement may be reduced or does not apply. A LOMA is usually followed by a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). A LOMR is an official revision to the currently effective FEMA map. It is used to change flood zones, floodplain and floodway delineations, flood elevations, and planimetric features. All requests for LOMRs must be made to FEMA through the chief executive officer of the community, since it is the community that must adopt any changes and revisions to the map. A LOMR is usually followed by a physical map revision. A physical map revision is an official republication of a map to effect changes to flood insurance zones, floodplain delineations, flood elevations, floodways, and planimetric features. The community's chief executive officer can submit scientific and technical data to FEMA to support the request for a map revision. The data will be analyzed, and the map will be revised if warranted. How do I change my flood map designation? Example of FEMA FIRM map Example of a LOMA diagram The licensed individual who performs the elevation certification has a detailed set of regulations that must be followed. First, they must complete the Elevation Certificate on the basis of the FIRM in effect at the time of the certification. Information about the current FIRM is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 1-800-358-9616. If the map in effect at the time of the building’s construction was other than the current FIRM, and you have the past map information pertaining to the building, provide the information in the Comments section on the new LOMA. Full Identification of the property location is also required on the LOMA. Indicate the elevation datum to which the elevations on the applicable FIRM are referenced as shown on the map legend. The vertical datum is shown in the Map Legend and/or the Notes to Users on the FIRM. Once the elevation and datum are retrieved, the person performing the certification must translate the reference datum into the NAD83 UTM projected coordinate system. All qualifying data must be in the UTM State Plane coordinates. Elevation reference points can be obtained through the National Geodetic Survey at: www.ngs.org To ensure that all required elevations are obtained, it may be necessary to enter the building (for instance, if the building has a basement or sunken living room, split- level construction, or machinery and equipment). Surveyors may not be able to gain access to some crawlspaces to shoot the elevation of the crawlspace floor. If access to the crawlspace is limited or cannot be gained, follow one of these procedures. • Use a yardstick or tape measure to measure the height from the floor of the crawlspace to the “next higher floor,” and then subtract the crawlspace height from the elevation of the “next higher floor.” If there is no access to the crawlspace, use the exterior grade next to the structure to measure the height of the crawlspace to the “next higher floor.” • Contact the local floodplain administrator of the community in which the building is located. The community may have documentation of the elevation of the crawlspace floor as part of the permit issued for the building. • If the property owner has documentation or knows the height of the crawlspace floor to the next higher floor, try to verify this by looking inside the crawlspace through any openings or vents. Once the survey and data collection process has been completed, the licensed person must complete and turn in an Elevation Certificate. Examples of a NGS benchmark and Datum Elevation report The role of the Surveyor or Engineer Parcel overlaid with results of Hydrology study Parcel with survey data and countours Aerial View of parcel that needs that updated FIRM Example of an Elevation Certificate Form Data sources: Fema: www.fema.gov National Geodetic Survey: www.ngs.noaa.gov URS Corporation, Engineers, Surveyors, Planners www.urscorp.com Survey data collected May 17, 2009 by Matt Stones, PLS Datum: NAD83 Coordinate system: UTM-Utah North-Geoid 2003 Hydrology study by URS Corporation, 2010 Aerial photo courtesy of Olympus Aerial Surveys: 30 W 2950 S Salt Lake City, UT 84108 Prepared by: Matt Stones November 28, 2012

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FEMA Flood Maps and Elevation Certification. How do I change my flood map designation?. The role of the Surveyor or Engineer. What is a Flood Map?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Fema Flood Map Certification

FEMA Flood Maps and Elevation Certification

What is a Flood Map?Flood maps are integral part of communities disaster and emergency management system. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the governing body for all of the countries catastrophic events. Each community has a local FEMA office that monitors the conditions at regional levels. Community decisions made now affect the lives and investments of everyone in the community for decades. Smart community leaders plan now for the future in order to ensure the long-term safety and sustainability of their entire communities. There are many mitigating circumstances that affect every community. Some of these factors are: economic viability and diversity, job creation and growth, education for residents, crime, traffic, environment and so on. Leaders also need to e concerned about the communities risks from natural and manmade events which could negatively impact their residents. A community planner along the Wasatch Front, for example, would look at their communitys vulnerability to earthquakes and floods. FEMA and local community leaders work together to analyze risks and plan mitigation activities. Flood maps are one of the many tools used to plan for emergencies. There are two types of flood maps: Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBM) and Flood insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). FHBMs are general maps to identify general boundaries where flood hazards are likely to occur. FIRM maps are used to assess the risks associated within a flood hazard area.FIRM maps are the regulatory documents governing rates for insurance premiums. An integral part of each FIRM is the Elevation Certificate. The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate Post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map for their area. As part of the agreement for making flood insurance available in a community, the NFIP requires the community to adopt floodplain management regulations that specify minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. One such requirement is for the community to obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings, and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate provides a way for a community to document compliance with the communitys floodplain management ordinance. The major problem with FIRM maps is the usage dates associated with each flood hazard area boundary. Most flood mapping procedures take years to complete. This time consuming work creates a lapse in coverage for newer buildings that integrate up-to-date technology to negate the effects associated with flooding. Luckily, there is a process for getting these maps updated for specific properties. Elevation Certificates are to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).

How does a Flood Insurance Rate Map effect my property?

If a property owner believes that the requirement to purchase flood insurance was made in error and there is evidence that the building is not in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), or that the property has substantial improvements that mitigate flood damage potential, the applicant/insured may apply for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). A LOMA is a determination made by FEMA for property and/or building as to whether it is located within the SFHA. LOMA determinations are based on the following: Comparing the location of the property to the SFHA. Comparing the elevation of the property to the 1-percent-annual-chance flood elevation.In order to compare these criteria, a survey or engineering elevation certificate is required.The Elevation Certificate is to be completed by a land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is authorized by law to certify elevation information. Community officials who are authorized by law or ordinance to provide floodplain management information may also complete this form. Within certain zones a property owner, or an owners representative may provide information on this certificate, unless the elevations are intended for use in supporting a request for a LOMA or LOMR-F. Certified elevations must be included if the purpose of completing theElevation Certificate is to obtain a LOMA or LOMR-F. The property owner, the owners representative, or local official who is authorized by law to administer the community floodplain ordinance can complete Section A and Section B. The partially completed form can then be given to the land surveyor, engineer, or architect to complete Section C. The land surveyor, engineer, or architect should verify the information provided by the property owner or owners representative to ensure that this certificate is complete. If, after plotting the location on the FIRM, the FEMA examiner finds that the property and/or building is not applicable to the SFHA, or the property has adequately engineered flood protection devices, then the the mandatory flood insurance requirement may be reduced or does not apply. A LOMA is usually followed by a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). A LOMR is an official revision to the currently effective FEMA map. It is used to change flood zones, floodplain and floodway delineations, flood elevations, and planimetric features. All requests for LOMRs must be made to FEMA through the chief executive officer of the community, since it is the community that must adopt any changes and revisions to the map. A LOMR is usually followed by a physical map revision. A physical map revision is an official republication of a map to effect changes to flood insurance zones, floodplain delineations, flood elevations, floodways, and planimetric features. The community's chief executive officer can submit scientific and technical data to FEMA to support the request for a map revision. The data will be analyzed, and the map will be revised if warranted.

How do I change my flood map designation?Example of FEMA FIRM mapExample of a LOMA diagramThe licensed individual who performs the elevation certification has a detailed set of regulations that must be followed. First, they must complete the Elevation Certificate on the basis of the FIRM in effect at the time of the certification. Information about the current FIRM is available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 1-800-358-9616. If the map in effect at the time of the buildings construction was other than the current FIRM, and you have the past map information pertaining to the building, provide the information in the Comments section on the new LOMA. Full Identification of the property location is also required on the LOMA.Indicate the elevation datum to which the elevations on the applicable FIRM are referenced as shown on the map legend. The vertical datum is shown in the Map Legend and/or the Notes to Users on the FIRM. Once the elevation and datum are retrieved, the person performing the certification must translate the reference datum into the NAD83 UTM projected coordinate system. All qualifying data must be in the UTM State Plane coordinates. Elevation reference points can be obtained through the National Geodetic Survey at: www.ngs.orgTo ensure that all required elevations are obtained, it may be necessary to enter the building (for instance, if the building has a basement or sunken living room, split-level construction, or machinery and equipment).Surveyors may not be able to gain access to some crawlspaces to shoot the elevation of the crawlspace floor. If access to the crawlspace is limited or cannot be gained, follow one of these procedures. Use a yardstick or tape measure to measure the height from the floor of the crawlspace to the next higher floor, and then subtract the crawlspace height from the elevation of the next higher floor. If there is no access to the crawlspace, use the exterior grade next to the structure to measure the height of the crawlspace to the next higher floor. Contact the local floodplain administrator of the community in which the building is located. The community may have documentation of the elevation of the crawlspace floor as part of the permit issued for the building. If the property owner has documentation or knows the height of the crawlspace floor to the next higher floor, try to verify this by looking inside the crawlspace through any openings or vents.Once the survey and data collection process has been completed, the licensed person must complete and turn in an Elevation Certificate.

Examples of a NGS benchmark and Datum Elevation reportThe role of the Surveyor or EngineerParcel overlaid with results of Hydrology studyParcel with survey data and countoursAerial View of parcel that needs that updated FIRMExample of an Elevation Certificate FormData sources:Fema: www.fema.govNational Geodetic Survey: www.ngs.noaa.govURS Corporation, Engineers, Surveyors, Planners www.urscorp.comSurvey data collected May 17, 2009 by Matt Stones, PLSDatum: NAD83Coordinate system: UTM-Utah North-Geoid 2003 Hydrology study by URS Corporation, 2010Aerial photo courtesy of Olympus Aerial Surveys:30 W 2950 SSalt Lake City, UT 84108

Prepared by:Matt Stones November 28, 2012