FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) identify areas that are at risk of flooding. These maps are tied to the City's Building Code, which establishes safe construction standards for building in the floodplain. Property owners can use these maps to determine their flood insurance requirements.
You can determine if your structure is in the floodplain. You can also look up your specific preliminary Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and flood zone by address.
Learn about Flood Insurance Rate Maps and find out if you are located in the floodplain.
NYC Property Owner Notification Letters
FEMA sent letters to New York City residents living in or near the FEMA Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map flood zones. The letter advises residents to understand the flood risk and to purchase flood insurance if necessary. If you have received a letter, you should first check whether or not you are in a flood zone.
If you have a mortgage and are not in a high-risk flood zone, you are not required to buy flood insurance. You can still purchase flood insurance if you prefer.
If you are in a flood zone, you can get more information on flood insurance requirements from FEMA.
Get information on flood insurance and your flood risk.
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Update
FEMA has updated their Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to identify areas that are at risk of flooding.
Flood risk is assessed in 3 ways:
- Floodplain: A 100-year floodplain is the area that has a 1% chance of coastal flooding each year. A 500-year floodplain is the area that has a 0.2% chance of coastal flooding each year. A Riverine is the area near a stream or river that is at risk of flooding.
- Flood Zones: For New York City, there are five zones. You can find detailed information on the different zones on the FEMA website.
- Base Flood Elevation (BFE): A BFE is the elevation to which the 100-year flood event is expected to rise.
Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center website.
FEMA FIRMs Technical Appeal
The Comments and Appeals Period for the City ended on June 28, 2015. The City has filed a technical appeal of the Preliminary FIRMs.
Learn more about the FIRM appeals.
Visit the NYC Flood Maps website.
Department of Buildings (DOB) Offices to Review FIRMs
FIRMs can be viewed in person at the DOB office in your borough:
Walk-in hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4 PM.
DOB Bronx Borough Office
1932 Arthur Avenue, 5th Floor
(between East 176 Street and East Tremont Avenue)
Bronx, NY 10457
DOB Brooklyn Borough Office
210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor
(between Court and Fulton Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
DOB Manhattan Borough Office
280 Broadway, 3rd Floor
(between Chambers and Reade Streets)
New York, NY 10007
DOB Queens Borough Office
120-55 Queens Boulevard
(between 80th Road and 82nd Avenue)
Kew Gardens, NY 11424
DOB Staten Island Borough Office
10 Richmond Terrace, Borough Hall, 2nd Floor
(between Staten Island Ferry Terminal and Nick LaPorte Place)
Staten Island, NY 10301
You can contact a Map Expert for more information and assistance.
- Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Division: Map Service Center
- Phone Number: (877) 336-2627
- Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
- Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours.