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Flood insurance is required if you live in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defined floodplain and have a federally-backed mortgage.

Flood insurance is not included in regular homeowners insurance, but anyone can purchase flood insurance, whether or not their homes were affected by Hurricane Sandy or are in the FEMA 100-year floodplain.

Learn more about flood insurance.

  • Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Division: National Flood Insurance Program
  • Phone Number: (800) 427-4661
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

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:  

  1. 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.  
  2. Flood Zones:  For New York City, there are five zones. You can find detailed information on the different zones on the FEMA website.
  3. 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 12 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
345 Adams Street, 3rd Floor
(between Willoughby and Johnson 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

Further Assistance

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.

Homeowners throughout New York City’s flood-prone neighborhoods may be impacted by rising sea levels and flood insurance rates.

The Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN) can help homeowners:

  • Understand your flood risk through the free web platform 
  • Understand potential solutions to reduce or mitigate your flood risk — examples include elevating your home, elevating your mechanicals, installing flood vents, and basement infill.
  • Understand your flood insurance rates and potential changes to your policy in the future.
  • Learn about an “elevation certificate,” a key document that can help you lower your insurance rate.
  • Provide you with a referral to free housing and legal counseling for help with other homeownership questions. 
  • Determine if you are eligible for the Backwater Valve Installation program, available for qualifying neighborhoods to help prevent storm-related sewer backup.


Learn more about FloodHelpNY.

By Phone

Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help.

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