A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), and Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) are all flood maps that have been produced by FEMA. The FIRM is the most common map and is the one used by most communities. At a minimum, flood maps show flood risk zones and their boundaries, and may also show floodways and Base Flood Elevations (BFEs).
More recent flood map products include digital FIRMs, which are created using digital methods and can be incorporated into a community's Geographic Information System (GIS). FEMA has also produced Q3 Flood Data, which includes certain features of the FIRM, and may be used for insurance purposes and planning activities.
Changes to Flood Zone Designations
If you believe your property was incorrectly included in a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you may submit an application to FEMA for a formal determination of the property's location and/or elevation relative to the SFHA. The SFHA is the area that has a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year; this area is also referred to by some as the 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain, base floodplain or the 100-year floodplain. After FEMA reviews the map change request, it will issue a Determination Document, either approving or denying the map change. If FEMA grants the map amendment or revision request, the property owner may no longer be required to pay flood insurance. The property owner may send the Determination Document to their lender and request that the federal flood insurance requirement for the structure be removed.