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Floodplain Management

Floodplain Management is loosely defined to include all actions that states and communities can take to reduce flood damage to both new and existing buildings and infrastructures. ADECA's OWR Floodplain Management Unit works closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local communities to build relationships to strengthen their mitigation plans and take action to better protect their residents and to reduce flood risk in communities through flood studies and flood mapping.

To enable local governments, individuals and engineers to better serve their communities, we have provided you with information about Risk MAP, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and LOMR (Letter of Map Revision) programs.

We encourage you to use the "Am I in the Floodplain?" address locator to determine if a property is located within the floodplain. In addition, the County Status link will provide you with an informative summary of your community's mapping status as well as access to your community's current flood maps.

 

Click the names below for more information on floodplain management:
Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment and Planning)​
Am I in a Floodplain?
County Flood Map Information and Status
National Flood Insurance Program and Flood Insurance Reform Act
Resources, Forms and Links​​
Safe Dams
Frequently Asked Questions​​ (View FAQ Page)
Contact


 

Risk MAP (Mapping, Assessment and Planning)

FEMA’s Risk MAP builds on the success of flood map modernization. It emphasizes a broader, more holistic approach to perform engineering and mapping analyses on a watershed basis and encourages work across community boundaries and a more comprehensive understanding of flooding.

Risk MAP is characterized by a full alignment of FEMA’s programs – discovering local needs, mapping with better data, working with community representatives in assessing risk and vulnerability – with planning and mitigation considerations throughout.

Alabama’s Floodplain Management Program has benefited from a strong partnership with FEMA in updating flood maps and assisting local communities. Since partnering with FEMA in 2003 to conduct flood studies and create flood maps, we have successfully completed studies and digitally mapped all 67 counties, studying over 1,050 miles of streams using detail methods and 30,000 miles of streams using approximate methods. The additional information gained and increased accuracy of the existing information has allowed the Floodplain Management Program to become a better partner with local developers, state emergency management agencies and first responders.

Important Risk MAP links and documents:

FEMA Risk MAP Overivew

User Guide for Flood Risk Datasets and Products

  
  
Changes Since Last Map.pdfChanges Since Last Map
Criteria for Accrediting Levee.pdfCriteria for Accrediting Levee
Expanded Appeals Process.pdfExpanded Appeals Process
Flood Risk Products.pdfFlood Risk Products
Hazus Know Your Risk.pdfHazus Know Your Risk
Hazus Support Mitigation Planning.pdfHazus Support Mitigation Planning
Multi Frequency Depth Grids.pdfMulti Frequency Depth Grids
Risk MAP and NFIP.pdfRisk MAP and NFIP
Understanding Preliminary Flood Maps.pdfUnderstanding Preliminary Flood Maps
Why We Map Flood Risks.pdfWhy We Map Flood Risks

 

 

Am I in a Floodplain?

The Alabama Flood Risk Information System (AL FRIS) is a new interactive flood mapping application currently under development. During the transition to this site, certain user-defined capabilities will be limited, but the flood maps will continue to be accessible for viewing. As always, verifying of all information through official sources is the responsibility of the user. Please contact Phillip.Hicks@adeca.alabama.gov if you need assistance accessing models or flood study data. 

Click here to access the AL FRIS website. 

FEMA has revised its appeal policy to expand the due process procedures currently provided for new or modified Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and base flood depths to other new or modified flood hazard information shown on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), including the addition or modification of any Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) boundary or zone designation, or regulatory floodway. If you have received notice that the flood hazard information in your area has changed please visit the interactive flood map application to see how your property may be impacted.


Click the "Quick Guide" image for a guide that will help you understand more about why and how Alabama communities manage floodplains.

 

 

County Flood Map Information and Status

The County Status application provides the latest digital data and flood maps that are available to view, download and print. Information is also available on community meeting dates, current proposed map changes and products delivered to the communities. This information is provided to keep local communities and residents up-to-date with the available tools and resources for identifying, assessing and planning for flood risk.

To view and print FIRM panels or Flood Insurance Study reports, click here or click the image to the left.

To download current effective study information/data or to print a FIRMette visit the FEMA Map Service Center.

 

Letters of Map Revision (LOMR)

One of the most important components of maintaining flood data is the continuous incorporation of changes to special flood hazard areas caused by development or other physical changes in the floodplain. In 2010 FEMA selected our program to process Letters of Map Revision (LOMR) applications. With this program we are able to provide local resources to work with engineers and developers to get requested map changes through the approval process. We provide training sessions throughout the state for developers, engineers, and local communities to help them understand the process and the data needed to keep cases from experiencing delays. Having local resources to review the cases provides a more collaborative environment for the LOMR process. This collaborative environment leads to more cooperation between developers, local communities, the state and FEMA.

For more information on this initiative, we encourage you to visit the FEMA Flood Hazard Mapping website.

For more information on Letters of Map Revision from FEMA, click here.

Click here to download LOMR (MT-2) Instructions and Application

LOMR Processing Fee Information

The following links are FEMA tutorials on applying for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and applying for a Letter of Map Revisions based on Fill (LOMR-F):

LOMA  |  LOMR-F

LOMR Application Status

 

National Flood Insurance Program and Flood Insurance Reform Act

The U.S. Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The federal program enables property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losses in exchange for community floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damages. Buildings constructed in compliance with the program's building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance.

Community participation in the program is voluntary. If a community adopts and enforces a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risk, the federal government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing flood damage to buildings and their contents. Currently, 427 communities are participating in the National Flood Insurance Program in Alabama with the Floodplain Management Unit coordinating the program for the state. Alabama currently has more than 58,500 NFIP policies providing over $12.3 billion in coverage.

The NFIP was, by statute and design, not actuarially sound. Specifically, 20 percent of policyholders, including many of the NFIP’s highest risk structures, paid premiums that were less than actuarially sound and the government was subsidizing on average 60 percent of the loss. This resulted, in large part, when homes and businesses that were constructed prior to a community joining the NFIP could remain as they were and not comply with NFIP building standards. Owners of many of these older properties were eligible to obtain insurance at lower, subsidized rates that did not reflect the property’s true flood risk. In addition, as the initial flood risk identified by the NFIP has been updated, many homes and businesses that had been built in compliance with existing standards have received discounted rates in areas where the risk of flood was revised. This "Grandfathering” approach prevented rate increases for existing properties when the flood risk in their area increased. After 45 years since its establishment, in 2012 Congress passed legislation to make the NFIP more sustainable and financially sound over the long term.

In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which calls on FEMA and other agencies to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. As of October 1, 2013 most of these changes have already been put in place, and others will be implemented at some time in the future. Key provisions of the legislation required the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some -- but not all -- policyholders over time.

Alabama Flood Advisory & NFIP Plain Talk Newsletter - summer 2014 edition

 

Resources, Forms and Links

Various resources, including forms, links, handouts, pamphlets and more...

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

  
  
collapse Category : 01 NFIP Community Participation Resources ‎(9)
NFIP Application.pdfNFIP Application
Results of Poor Ordinance Enforcement.pdfResults of Poor Ordinance Enforcement
Sanctions for Non-Participation.pdfSanctions for Non-Participation
Model Resolution.pdfModel Resolution
Example Development Permit.pdfExample Development Permit
Flood Ordinance Island Communities.pdfFlood Ordinance Island Communities
Model Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Riverine).pdfModel Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Riverine)
Resolution To Be Used When Applying for the NFIP.pdfResolution To Be Used When Applying for the NFIP
Model Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Coastal).pdfModel Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance (Coastal)
collapse Category : 02 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 Fact Sheets ‎(11)
Biggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impacts of Sections 205 and 207.pdfBiggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impacts of Sections 205 and 207
Questions about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.pdfQuestions about the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
Biggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impact for NFIP Policyholders Nationally.pdfBiggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impact for NFIP Policyholders Nationally
Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension - A Low Cost Flood Insurance Option.pdfPreferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension - A Low Cost Flood Insurance Option
Biggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impacts to Alabama's NFIP Policyholders.pdfBiggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - Impacts to Alabama's NFIP Policyholders
Biggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - The NFIP's Specific Rate Guidelines.pdfBiggert-Waters FIRA of 2012 - The NFIP's Specific Rate Guidelines
If your home or business has been flooded - Build Back Safer and Stronger.pdfIf your home or business has been flooded - Build Back Safer and Stronger
Implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 - Testimony from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.pdfImplementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 - Testimony from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate
ASFPM recommendations on BW-12 affordability.pdfASFPM recommendations on BW-12 affordability
GAO Report to Congress - Flood Insurance - Implications of changing coverage limits and expanding coverage (July 2013).pdfGAO Report to Congress - Flood Insurance - Implications of changing coverage limits and expanding coverage (July 2013)
GAO Report to Congress - Flood Insurance - More information needed on subsidized properties.pdfGAO Report to Congress - Flood Insurance - More information needed on subsidized properties
collapse Category : 03 NFIP Flood Insurance Guidance Fact Sheets ‎(11)
NFIP Grandfather Rules - Options and Examples.pdfNFIP Grandfather Rules - Options and Examples
NFIP Grandfathering Rules - Saving on Flood Insurance.pdfNFIP Grandfathering Rules - Saving on Flood Insurance
Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension - Frequently Asked Questions.pdfPreferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension - Frequently Asked Questions
NFIP Flood Insurance Premium Comparisons.pdfNFIP Flood Insurance Premium Comparisons
NFIP Increased Cost of Copliance Talking Points.pdfNFIP Increased Cost of Copliance Talking Points
NFIP Resources - Websites for Data, Statistics, Best Practices and Guidelines.pdfNFIP Resources - Websites for Data, Statistics, Best Practices and Guidelines
NFIP Summary of Coverage for Commercial Property.pdfNFIP Summary of Coverage for Commercial Property
NFIP Summary of Coverage Overview.pdfNFIP Summary of Coverage Overview
Top Ten Facts about the NFIP for Consumers.pdfTop Ten Facts about the NFIP for Consumers
Options for Rebuilding in an AE Zone after a Disaster.pdfOptions for Rebuilding in an AE Zone after a Disaster
Options for Rebuilding in a VE Zone after a Disaster.pdfOptions for Rebuilding in a VE Zone after a Disaster
collapse Category : 04 AL NFIP Newsletter Archive ‎(1)
2014_03 Summer - Alabama Flood Advisory and NFIP Plain Talk newsletter.pdf2014_03 Summer - Alabama Flood Advisory and NFIP Plain Talk newsletter

 

Flood Mapping

Forms

  
  
Data Sharing and Distribution Agreement.pdfData Sharing and Distribution Agreement
Flood Mapping Needs Survey.pdfFlood Mapping Needs Survey
Data Inventory.pdfData Inventory

 

Coastal Mapping Update

  
  
2014 April - BALDWIN - Building and Development Outreach.pdf2014 April - BALDWIN - Building and Development Outreach
2014 April - BALDWIN - Public Outreach.pdf2014 April - BALDWIN - Public Outreach
2014 April - BALDWIN - Realty and Insurance Industry Outreach.pdf2014 April - BALDWIN - Realty and Insurance Industry Outreach
2014 April - MOBILE - Building and Development Outreach.pdf2014 April - MOBILE - Building and Development Outreach
2014 April - MOBILE - Public Outreach.pdf2014 April - MOBILE - Public Outreach
2014 April - MOBILE - Realty and Insurance Industry Outreach.pdf2014 April - MOBILE - Realty and Insurance Industry Outreach
BALDWIN Fact Sheet -  Development.pdfBALDWIN Fact Sheet - Development
BALDWIN Fact Sheet - Lending, Insurance, Realty.pdfBALDWIN Fact Sheet - Lending, Insurance, Realty
BALDWIN Fact Sheet.pdfBALDWIN Fact Sheet
MOBILE Fact Sheet - Development.pdfMOBILE Fact Sheet - Development
MOBILE Fact Sheet - Lending, Insurance, Realty.pdfMOBILE Fact Sheet - Lending, Insurance, Realty
MOBILE Fact Sheet.pdfMOBILE Fact Sheet

 

FEMA Pamphlets

  
  
GIS in Map Modernization.pdfGIS in Map Modernization
The Flood Insurance Industry and Map Modernization.pdfThe Flood Insurance Industry and Map Modernization
Homeowners FAQ.pdfHomeowners FAQ
Region IV Coastal Analysis and Mapping Fact Sheet.pdfRegion IV Coastal Analysis and Mapping Fact Sheet

 

Training

Alabama Map Modernization Training

FEMA Emergency Management Institute

 

Links to Other Agencies

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program

FEMA Floodplain Management

Association of State Floodplain Managers

FEMA Flood Smart

Title 44 - Emergency Management and Assistance, code of federal regulations

FEMA Region IV Atlanta contact personnel

NFIP Community Status Book for Alabama

FEMA Map Service Center

Certified Floodplain Manager Program (ASFPM)

CRS – Community Rating System

Alabama Emergency Management Agency

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CoBRA)

National Geodetic Survey

Region IV Coastal Analysis and Mapping

 

Safe Dams

ADECA's Office of Water Resources began an effort in 2008 to develop an inventory of the number of dams in Alabama and to classify those dams in regard to their hazard potential. Hazard potential does not reflect the condition of the dam, but identifies the potential consequences of dam failure. Once established, the program will provide an up-to-date inventory of dams in the state that will help public safety and emergency response operations in the event of a disaster.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have set up a section for frequently asked questions: click here.

 

Contact

Phone: (334) 353-1955  |  floods@adeca.alabama.gov

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