Monday, September 25, 2017

Update: September 2017. FEMA Risk MAP Guidance Updates

FEMA Risk MAP Guidance Updates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains guidelines and standards to support the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Program. These guidelines and standards define the implementation of the statutory and regulatory requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These also guide the development of Flood Risk Projects, processing of Letters of Map Change (LOMCs) and related Risk MAP activities. More information is available at
FEMA maintains the Risk MAP guidelines and standards and issues updates on an annual basis each November.  For the 2017 Annual cycle, a Public Review for standards was held in August. FEMA is now initiating a review of all guidance, technical references and other resources.
This annual update includes routine maintenance and completion of the transformation of legacy guidelines and specifications to produce new guidance documents that align with the current structure of the Risk MAP Program.  In additional to these updates, there are several more significant changes that FEMA plans to implement that include:
  • establishing guidance for Base Level Engineering (BLE)
  • clarifying how submitters can use Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) or other elevation data for Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs)
  • updating Flood Risk Product (FRP) requirements based on feedback from FRP users and stakeholders in the Fall of 2016
  • updating coastal standards to consolidate the definition of the V-Zone for coastal flood risk
Listed below are the guidance, technical reference, and other documents that are being updated for the 2017 Annual (Fall) cycle. If you are interested in reviewing any of the documents listed below, you can access the documents through the Risk Management Directorate SharePoint site and should provide comment through SharePoint if you are a mapping partner who has SharePoint access.  For stakeholders who do not have SharePoint access, email to request the documents that you wish to review.
FEMA recognizes that many stakeholders have been impacted by the recent hurricanes and other events.  If you feel like you need more time to review any of these materials, please email
Comments received by October 16, 2017 will be considered for incorporation. 
Major Changes
Base Level Engineering: New content to establish consistent requirements and to support the emerging creation and understanding of Base Level Engineering (BLE).  Affected documents:
  • BLE Guidance (New)
  • Discovery Guidance
  • CNMS Technical Reference
  • FIS Report Technical Reference
  • Domain Tables Technical Reference
  • FIRM Database XML Schema

LiDAR for LOMAs: New/revised content to clarify how submitters can use LiDAR or other elevation data for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).  Affected document:
  • MT-1 Technical Guidance
Flood Risk Products: Updates to reflect Flood Risk Product (FRP) improvements that were implemented based on feedback from FRP users and stakeholders in the Fall of 2016.  Affected documents:
  • Areas of Mitigation Interest Guidance
  • Changes Since Last FIRM Guidance
  • Flood Depth and Analysis Grids Guidance
  • Flood Risk Database Guidance
  • Flood Risk Assessments Guidance
  • Flood Risk Map Guidance
  • Flood Risk Report Guidance
  • Quality Management for Flood Risk Projects Guidance
  • Flood Risk Database Technical Reference
  • Data Capture Technical Reference
  • Domain Tables Technical Reference
  • CNMS Technical Reference
  • Flood Risk Database XML Schema
  • Flood Risk Products Checklist
Coastal Updates:
  • Coastal Floodplain Mapping Guidance - Updates to support the combination of two existing standards (SIDs 91 and 98) to define the V-Zone for all coastal Flood Risk Projects, regardless of the flooding source.
  • Coastal Erosion Guidance - Updates to simplify language and to clarify that wave setup should be used for dune erosion analyses regardless, of the coastal flooding source.
  Guidance Transformation
  • Coastal Wave Runup and Overtopping
  • General Hydrologic Considerations (Update to existing document to include transformation of the follow content: Hydrologic & Hydraulic (H&H) Analyses of Lake Levels for Closed Basins, , Hydrology: Regression Equation Analyses, and Hydrology: Stream Gage Analyses)
  • Hydrology: Rainfall-Runoff Analyses
  • Ice Jam
  • Levee
  • Project Planning
  • Post-Flood Hazard Verification/Recovery Tools
  • Acceptable Models List
  • Mitigation Planning Technical Assistance
Other Minor Changes
  • Appeal and Comment Processing
  • Coastal General Study Considerations
  • Database Verification Tool (DVT)
  • Data Capture Workflow
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Database
  • Key Decision Point (KDP) Process
  • National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL)
  • Metadata

Technical References
  • Data Capture
  • FIRM Database
  • Metadata Profiles

  • FIS Report Template
  • TSDN Checklist
  • FEDD Checklist
  • Metadata Profile XML Schemas
Regulatory Checklists

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