Review of changes to policy for flood risk analysis and mapping

Aug 9, 2018 | News & Views, What's New

Federal Emergency Management Agency maintains guidelines and standards to support the Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) Program. These guidelines and standards define the specific implementation of the statutory and regulatory requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program. They also outline the performance of Flood Risk Projects, processing of Letters of Map Change and related Risk MAP activities. More information is available at:

FEMA issues updates for the Risk MAP guidelines and standards on an annual basis. This overall annual cycle has been delayed three months and is now planned for February 2019. This notice provides information on an off-cycle policy update that will rescind 1 standard and revise 1 standard associated with Coastal Barrier Resources System data. This update is being done in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove potentially outdated CBRS information from the FEMA Maps and switch to using the authoritative, dynamically updated digital CBRS boundaries provided by USFWS. The proposed changes are:

SID 170: Proposing to rescind, reflecting that CBRS data will no longer be shown on FEMA products
SID 356: Proposing to revise the requirements in the FIRM Panel Technical Reference with respect to CBRS areas which are no longer being shown on FEMA products.
FEMA intends to publish these changes as a part of a November 2018 update to the Policy for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping[1].The draft updates are being made available for public review to provide an opportunity for comment prior to incorporation into the policy.

The proposed changes are listed below with the Standard Identification Number (SID #), primary keywords, implementation, current version of the standard (if applicable) and the proposed updates or revisions. The implementation approach for these standards has been chosen to avoid any cost impacts on work underway.

Primary Keyword
Original Standard
Revised/New Standard
Coastal Barrier Resources System
Standard Rescinded
CBRS units shown on all new and revised FIRMs must be provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Standard Rescinded
Coastal Barrier Resources System
Effective for all projects that have not started QR5
All FIRM panel notes, labels, and symbolization associated with CBRS and Otherwise Protected Areas shall conform to the specifications outlined in the FIRM Panel Technical Reference.
All FIRM panel data, notes, labels and symbolization associated with CBRS and Otherwise Protected Areas should be removed from all regulatory products with the exception of the following Note to Users which should be included in all FIRM Panels: Coastal Barrier Resources System areas and otherwise protected areas are no longer shown on these map panels, but still may be present in this community. Current information on these areas are provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. NFIP flood insurance is not available within CBRS areas for structures that are built or substantially improved on or after the dates indicated by FWS. Users should reference the most up-to-date information provided by FWS to determine NFIP insurance eligibility. The official maps and additional information regarding CBRS areas are provided on the FWS website at”

How to Submit Comments to FEMA
You may provide comments via email at: Comments received prior to Sept. 5, 2018 will be reviewed and addressed as appropriate before the standards are finalized.​