The flood insurance rate map is a chart released by the US government, created under the guidance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to show the risk of flooding in certain areas. These maps are designed around 100 years of flood events, which means that a certain level of flood depicted on the map may occur once every 100 years. Individuals, insurance companies, local officials, and lending institutions use flood insurance rate maps to determine the risks associated with certain developed properties.
In some cases, the flood insurance rate map for a certain community may be a bit outdated. As the situation changes, certain flood-prone areas may be more or less prone to flooding. A levy may be established, or the river course may change, resulting in a different situation. Therefore, FEMA is in a near-continuous process of updating the flood insurance rate map, prioritizing the areas most prone to flooding in the United States.
For most areas, the flood insurance rate map covers a specific area, such as a county or city. For cities in the county, there are usually separate map products. In the latest rate map product, FEMA has produced a map that includes information on all geographic areas covered by the map. This is more convenient for those who find information quickly. These maps can be obtained for free from the FEMA website, or those who are interested can order a paper version.
The main purpose of the flood insurance rate map is to determine the risk of flood mission locations. Potential property buyers can view the map to determine whether the property is in the ideal location. Insurance companies may charge higher fees for areas that show the risk of more severe or frequent floods. Local emergency managers can use the map to plan where emergency services are most likely to be needed and help plan evacuation in the event of an emergency.