Floodplain Managers, Engineers, Surveyors, & Architects

Floodplain managers, engineers, surveyors and architects are directly involved in the floodplain management process. When a community chooses to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, an agreement is made between the local community and the federal government that states, the community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance that meet or exceeds the minimum requirements of the NFIP. Engineers, surveyors and architects provide essential resources to the community to assist this effort by providing their expertise in hydrology, hydraulics, elevation data and structure design.

Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that helps communities assess their flood risks and encourage mitigation planning. FEMA works with state and local officials to effectively communicate flood risk to members of the community and create mitigation plans that reduce risk. This partnership also facilitates the mapping process, which helps communities understand where there is greater risk due to flooding. The goal is to increase risk awareness before a disaster occurs and reduce impacts to life and property. The technical data the community provides is an integral part of this partnership, because it helps the mapping experts better understand the physical characteristics and factors that contribute to flooding.

Elevation Certificates

The Elevation Certificate is an important part of the floodplain management process. Not only does it certify the elevation of a structure for NFIP compliance, it is also used to determine the proper insurance premium rate and supports requests for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) or Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F) (see below for additional information).

It is very important to accurately complete an Elevation Certificate – an inaccurate certificate can potentially cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. To ensure Elevation Certificates are completed correctly, review the newest Elevation Certificate information here. An Elevation Certificate tutorial is available from the NFIP website.

Letters of Map Change

Letters of Map Change (LOMC) are amendments and revisions made to a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to more accurately reflect flooding of a specific structure, property or area. LOMAs, LOMRs and LOMR-Fs do not physically revise the maps; rather FEMA issues a letter that determines if a structure or property is removed or not removed from a high risk flood zone. A LOMR is an official revision to a published FIRM. Changes may include floodplain widths, floodways and Base Flood Elevations (BFEs). For more information on Letters of Map Change, including where you can find the necessary application forms, click here.


FEMA has developed a new online determination tool for LOMA requests, an eLOMA. This application provides licensed land surveyors and professional engineers a system to submit simple LOMA requests and receive a determination from FEMA in minutes.

To receive an eLOMA, licensed professionals must register on the Mapping Information Platform (MIP) to establish a free account. Once registered, users can submit information specific to a property or structure and receive an eLOMA determination. An eLOMA determination serves the same function as a standard LOMA determination. The only difference is the eLOMA determination is made automatically, instead of the lengthier manual review used in traditional LOMA processing.

For more information regarding the eLOMA registration and process, including which type of structures qualify for an eLOMA, visit www.hazards.fema.gov.

Calculating Base Flood Elevations in Zone A Areas

FEMA produced a Zone A Manual providing guidelines for calculating base flood elevations, or BFEs, in Zone A areas. These areas are high-risk flood zones shown on FIRMs and were established using base product study methods during the map development process. FEMA also designed Quick-2, a simple computer program used to calculate BFEs in Special Flood Hazard Areas designated as Zone A. The Zone A Manual, along with the Quick-2 program and user manual, can be found here.

New Map Changes: What do they mean?

When a community receives new DFIRMs, many home and business owners have questions if their structures are now shown in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). It is important to understand the effects of flood hazard area changes. Community officials can offer guidance to affected citizens. For more information on flood zones and how zone changes affect property owners, click here.

As preliminary DFIRMs are available for communities, an interactive mapping tool will allow federal, state and local agency officials, as well as other stakeholders, the ability to view them on this website.


Detail of events that occur after Flood Insurance Rate Maps are issued Preliminary


What can you do now? What do you need to know?

  • Monitor this site and register to receive The Coastal Voice electronically.
  • Learn about Grandfathering and how it may help your constituents.
  • Learn about the Levee Certification Process.
  • Monitor the schedule posted on this website on the Storm Surge Study for the Texas Coast.
  • Important Links

  • Coastal Construction Fact Sheets http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/mat/mat_fema499.shtm
  • FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/fmc_main.shtm#RegionalInfo