What is FEMA’s Process for Revalidating What Factors Determine Flood Insurance
Existing LOMAs and LOMRs?
To revalidate map changes, FEMA conducts a
detailed comparison of the BFEs shown on FEMA’s
A number of factors are used to determine flood
insurance premiums, including the amount of
new FIRM and the lowest adjacent grade or lowest
lot elevation of previously issued map changes.
Those structures or properties that are above the
coverage purchased, the deductible, location, age,
occupancy, and type of building. For newer
buildings in floodplains, the elevation of the lowest
BFE or are located in areas of the community that adjacent grade (the lowest ground touching the
are not affected by updated flood hazard
information are revalidated through a formal
structure), or lowest floor relative to the BFE will
also be used to rate the policy.
February 2008 Hanover County, Virginia
determination letter that is issued to the
community’s Chief Executive Officer when the new
For Further Information
FIRM becomes effective. The revalidation letter is
also mailed to each community’s map repository to
For any questions concerning flood hazard mapping What is the NFIP?
be kept on file and is available for public reference.
or LOMAs, please contact the FEMA Map
Map changes that have been issued for multiple lots Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Assistance Center’s toll-free information line at
or structures where the determination for one or This Fact Sheet provides due to escalating costs to taxpayers for flood disaster relief. The
1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).
more of the lots or structures have changed cannot NFIP is based on the agreement that if a community practices sound
be automatically revalidated through the background information on the floodplain management, the Federal Government will make flood
administrative process described above. To request National Flood Insurance insurance available to residents in that community. FEMA maps
that FEMA review such map changes (i.e., those include the Special Flood Hazard Area, which is the area that has a
that are not included in the revalidation letter), Program (NFIP) which is 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year. Development
please submit the following to FEMA: may take place within the Special Flood Hazard Area provided that
administered by the Federal it complies with local floodplain ordinances that meet NFIP criteria.
More information is available online at:
• A letter requesting the re-issuance (provide the http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/fq_genhm.shtm Emergency Management
case number of the LOMA to be reissued); and
• A copy of the LOMA to be reissued, if Agency (FEMA), as well as an What is a FIRM?
available. overview of the flood hazard When FEMA maps flood hazards in a
The Map Service Center has flood hazard mapping
information and products that may be reviewed community or county, two products are
FEMA will review the case file and issue a new mapping process underway in produced – a Flood Insurance Study (FIS)
letter reflecting its new determination. online and downloaded at http://msc.fema.gov. For
map orders and questions call 1-800-358-9616. Hanover County, Virginia. The report and a Flood Insurance Rate Map
(FIRM). An FIS is a narrative report of the
How can I purchase flood insurance? county’s Flood Insurance Rate community’s flood hazards that contains
A policy may be purchased from any licensed prior flooding information, descriptions of
For information about floodplain management, Maps (FIRMs) are being revised
property insurance agent or broker who is in good the flooding sources, information on flood
standing in the State in which the agent is licensed ordinances, or map adoption policies, communities using the latest technologies and protection measures, and a description of the
or through any agent representing a Write Your can contact their State NFIP Coordinator. hydrologic and hydraulic methods used in
Own (WYO) company. Call 1-800-720-1093 or the most current data so the study. A FIRM illustrates the extent of
visit floodsmart.gov to find a flood insurance agent residents, homeowners, business flood hazards in a community by depicting
near you. For questions specifically concerning insurance, flood risk zones and the Special Flood
please call 1-800-427-4661 or visit owners, and community officials Hazard Area, and is used with the FIS report
http://www.floodsmart.gov. to determine the floodplain development
may understand the local flood regulations that apply in each flood risk zone
risk and keep people and and who must buy flood insurance. FIRMs
also depict other information including Base
property safe from floods. (1% annual chance) Flood Elevations (BFEs)
or flood depths, floodways, and common
physical features such as roads.
Flood Hazard Mapping Fact Sheet Hanover County, Virginia February 2008
How do I Find Out if a Structure or Property is
Why Are the Maps Being Updated? The Mapping Process
Located in the Special Flood Hazard Area?
The mapping activity for Hanover County covers the
digitization of numerous FIRM and FBFM panels. You can locate a building or a lot by consulting the The key steps in the mapping process are outlined below. Additionally, the points at which community
The most significant change is that the new maps will FIRM, or by contacting the floodplain administrator officials and property owners may provide comments and express concerns with the information in the FIS
be a digital conversion of the previously used raster or for your community. For help interpreting a FIRM, report and FIRM are highlighted below.
vector based map. This conversion will significantly telephone the FEMA Map Assistance Center (FMAC)
improve the accuracy of floodplain determinations. at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).
Scoping Community Final FIS
With this update we will have produced a Digital What is a Protest? And Map Review And FIRM
Flood Insurance Rate Map that will be compatible Production Period Effective
with GIS. It will cover the entire county and will be Challenges received during the appeal period that do
distributable by FEMA to the public. The not address proposed BFEs are considered "protests." • These tasks have • Preliminary FIS • Public meeting to • Issued by FEMA Six months after
Protests include, but are not limited to: challenges of been completed and FIRM issued present new FIS following the the final
improvements in spatial accuracy will meet minimum to all communities and FIRM and to appeal period determination
standards as described in the Base Map Standards for floodplain boundary delineations based on more
• Community review NFIP • Federal Register FIS and FIRM
DFIRMs document created by FEMA. The digital detailed topographic data; challenges of proposed comments on requirements notice published published and
files will be available when these maps become regulatory floodway boundaries based on better preliminary FIS • 90-day appeal distributed by
effective. modeling; requests that a Letter of Map Amendment and FIRM to period begins after FEMA
(LOMA), Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill FEMA a second public The new effective
What Else Has Changed? notice FIS and FIRM
(LOMR-F), or LOMR be incorporated; base map available at
New detailed studies have been included for errors; and omissions. Appeals and protests must be community offices
Beaverdam Creek, Chickohominy River, Crump supported by scientific or technical data, provide
Creek, Lickinghole Creek, Little River, Mechumps proof of error, and provide sufficient data to make
Creek, North Anna River, Pamunkey River, South revisions. Certification of data by a Registered
What if a Structure is Shown in a Different Flood How Can I Request a LOMA?
Anna River, Stony Run Creek, and Totopotomoy Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor
Zone on the New Map?
Creek. We have also incorporated 2 existing Letters may be required. To obtain a LOMA, the requester must complete a
of Map Revision (LOMR). The new map will not affect continuing insurance LOMA application form that is downloadable from:
What is an Appeal? policies for a structure built in compliance with local http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/dl_mt-
floodplain management regulations and the flood map ez.shtm. For a LOMA to be issued removing a
Some flood studies result in new or revised BFEs.
in effect at the time of construction. However, should structure from the Special Flood Hazard Area, federal
During the 90-day appeal period, community officials
Hanover County the structure be substantially improved or regulations require that lowest adjacent grade be at or
and others may object to the accuracy of the proposed
substantially damaged (where damages or above the BFE. There is no fee for FEMA’s review
BFEs. According to Federal Regulations, “The sole
improvements reach 50% or more of the predamage of the LOMA request, but the requester of a LOMA
Beaverdam Creek basis of appeal... shall be the possession of knowledge
North Anna River
market value) the entire structure will have to be must provide all of the information needed for a
Little River or information indicating that the elevations proposed
brought into compliance with the floodplain review. Elevation information certified by a licensed
by FEMA are scientifically or technically incorrect.”
requirements and the BFE in effect at the time any surveyor is often required if an elevation certificate is
Communities should coordinate with the FEMA
repairs take place. not available.
Pamunkey River Philadelphia office before submitting an appeal.
South Anna River Town of
Ashland Mechumps Creek
Is There any Recourse if I Do Not Agree with the Will LOMAs Issued under the Old Map be Valid
Stony Run Creek What Happens After the Appeal Period?
New Map? under the New Map?
FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination and
Totopotomy Creek Although FEMA uses the most accurate flood hazard When a new FIRM becomes effective, it
then provide the community with six months to adopt
information available, limitations of scale or automatically supersedes previously issued LOMAs,
up-to-date floodplain management ordinances. If the
topographic definition of the source maps used to LOMRs, and other map changes that have been issued
floodplain ordinances in effect are satisfactory, they
prepare the FIRM may cause small areas that are at or for structures and properties on the revised FIRM
can be submitted in their current form. If ordinances
above the BFE to be inadvertently shown within panels. Recognizing that some map changes may still
need to be updated, communities should seek
Special Flood Hazard Area boundaries. Such be valid even though the flood hazard information on
KEY assistance from their State NFIP Coordinator or the
situations may exist in Hanover County. For these the FIRM has been updated, FEMA has established a
FEMA office in Philadelphia. After the six-month
Area of BFE Change
situations, FEMA established the LOMA process to process for revalidating such map changes.
compliance period, the new FIS and FIRM will
remove such structures from the Special Flood
Streams and Rivers become effective.