On December 5, 2013 FEMA released Preliminary FIRMs for New York City as well as the Preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for New York City, a narrative report of the city's flood hazard. The issuance of the Preliminary FIRMs and FIS marks the first step in the regulatory review process which includes a public comment period followed by a statutory 90-day appeals period before the maps are adopted by the City.
These maps and study replace FEMA's interim Preliminary Work Maps that were released in June 2013 to inform rebuilding post-Hurricane Sandy and should be considered best available data for rebuilding.
For more information on the newly released Preliminary FIRMs, visit www.nyc.gov/floodmaps
To facilitate recovery and rebuilding, the City has made accommodations in zoning regulations and upgrades to the Building Code so that new construction can build to these higher standards.
Substantially Damaged or Substantial Improvements : Any building classified as substantially damaged or as a substantial improvement must be elevated to fully comply with the flood zone regulations for new buildings in Appendix G of the 2008 NYC Building Code. For residential buildings, this includes elevating the habitable spaces and filling in the basement or cellar.
Other: Buildings not classified as substantially damaged or as a substantial improvement are not required to elevate/reconstruct the entire building according to the flood zone regulations for new buildings in Appendix G. However, the Department of Buildings strongly recommends that homeowners comply with these regulations, as well as relocate essential equipment and electrical panels above flood levels wherever possible. It is also important to note that flood insurance premiums are based on flood risk. Property owners can save money by reducing their vulnerability to flooding.
For more information about the Preliminary FIRMs, visit:
For flood insurance resources, visit:
To determine the flood risk of your property, visit: