Determine Your Flood Zone Designation

How to obtain updated flood maps for your area.

If you are a part of the National Insurance Flood Program, updating your private property insurance flood coverage, or just want a better understanding of your flood exposure, obtaining the most up to date flood map for your area is the place to start. It is important to note that there are many times when a building can experience flood damage even if it is not located within a designated flood prone area. Along with a copy of the flood map, it is best to get an understanding of the surrounding area to fully understand your risk.Community Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are available through the FEMA Map Service Center’s website.

Notes about using the FEMA website: Make sure your brower’s “Pop Up Blocker” is turned off. Also, the windows / screens will “time out” and create an error that will prevent you from proceeding. If that happens, you will have to re-enter information.

Using FEMA’s Map Service Center

Searching by address

Product (Map) Search by Address:

  • To the left of the page is a box titled “Product Search by Maps.”

  • Leave the top box 1 with the existing entry of “Flood Maps.”

  • Enter the Address in box 2.

  • Click on “Search by Street Address.”

  • The next screen “Map Search Results” will include three options.

  • Click on “View”A new window will pop up titled “Intranex Viewer.”

  • Use the “Zoom” and “Pan” buttons on the left of the page to assist in finding your location on the map.

  • Once you find your location, you can create a FIRMette.

Notes about using the FEMA website: Sometimes it can be difficult to determine your particular location on the FIRM due to lack of road names. Pull up your favorite online map service and compare the two maps.  Keep in mind the FIRM screen will time out.

Creating A FIRMette

A FIRMette is a customized map showing your location and flood risk.

Creating a FIRMette is the last step in determining your flood zone risk. If you followed the steps above, you should now be familiar with the FEMA Product (Map) Search by Address. To illustrate what a finished FIRMette looks like, IBHS engineers created the sample shown here that illustrates a finished product showing the IBHS headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

Create a FIRMette showing your own location using the FEMA Map Service Center software:

  • On the left side of the “Intranex Viewer” click on “Make a FIRMette.”

  • A pink box with green border will appear in the left corner of the map.

  • Click and hold the pink box and drag it over the area where your facility is located on the map.

  • On the left side of the page, under Step 3.

  • Create FIRMette, click on “Adobe PDF.”

  • If you are not satisfied with your map, click the “Back” button on the left side of the page.

  • If you are satisfied with your map, click on “Save your FIRMette” on the left side of the page.

  • A small pop up window asking if you want to open or save the document, click on “Open.”

  • Review the pdf for the proper location and note that the title block includes the map number and date.

  • If satisfied then save the document.