FEMA Flood Map Update

New York’s coastline stretches 520 miles, and these coastal areas have a high risk of flooding during a storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) produces Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) which identify areas that are at risk of flooding. Areas are assigned different zones depending on the level of flood risk.

This page is designed to guide property owners through the flood map update process for New York City’s Effective FIRMs. The Effective FIRMs for New York City are from 2007.

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 become effective (expected early 2016).

Once the Preliminary FIRMs are finalized in 2016, property owners whose properties are located within the updated 100-year floodplain will be required to carry flood insurance if they have a mortgage from a Federally-backed lender. Find out more about flood insurance here.

In the meantime, to ensure that structures are rebuilt using the best available information, the New York City Building Code now requires new and substantially improved buildings to use the Preliminary FIRMs until the maps become effective in 2016.

FIRM Update Timeline*
December 2013 – FEMA issues Preliminary FIRMs (comment period begins)
Winter 2015 – 90-day statutory Appeals Period
2016 – Final Effective Flood Rate Insurance Maps expected to be issued
*Should changes occur, this timeline will be updated. 

To access FEMA’s Preliminary FIRMs for New York City, please visit: www.region2coastal.com or the FEMA New York City Preliminary FIRM Data Viewer.

Maps can be viewed in person at the New York City Department of Buildings:

Manhattan Borough Office
NYC Dept. of Buildings
280 Broadway 3rd Fl
New York, NY 10007

Cheryl Leon
(212) 393-2914

Bronx Borough Office
NYC Dept. of Buildings
1932 Arthur Avenue, 5th Fl
Bronx, NY 10457

Tomasz Bielecki
(718) 579-2942

Brooklyn Borough Office
NYC Dept. of Buildings
210 Joralemon Street, 8th Fl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Carlos Pineiro
(718) 802-3675

Queens Borough Office
NYC Dept. of Buildings
120-55 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11424

William Hinckley
(718) 286-0600

Staten Island Borough Office
NYC Dept. of Buildings
10 Richmond Terrace, 2nd Fl
Staten Island, NY 10301

Theresa Hall
(718) 420-5400


Click here to submit comments on the Preliminary FIRMs.

Additional Information

Letter from FEMA - This letter explains the flood map update process and how the changes were made to the FIRMs.

The Flood Insurance Study (FIS)

Summary of Map Actions (SOMA) Document

Fact Sheets

Fact Sheet – Flood Insurance Study

Fact Sheet - Coastal Flood Hazard Mapping Studies

Fact Sheet - Scientific Resolution Panels serve as the independent third party to review the flood insurance rate map and proposed changes.

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