What Is My Base Flood Elevation (BFE)? Address Lookup Tool
The “What Is My BFE?” tool can help you compare the effective and revised FEMA flood hazard data available for your property. Get information in three easy steps:
1. Enter your address into the field below and click the “Get Details” button.**Internet Explorer users: Click ‘No’ if a security warning pop-up window appears after clicking this button.**
2. The tool will add a blue marker to the map, indicating the area it will provide information for based on the entered address.
**Important: If the marker is not directly on top of your building, click on your building on the map and a red marker will appear. The tool will then refresh with information for that location.**
3. The report below the map will provide you with both the effective and the revised flood hazard information available for the address entered. Click on any hyperlinked text and a glossary definition will open in a new window.
People with accessibility needs may call 1-800-427-4661 to receive assistance in identifying and interpreting the flood information for their property.
DISCLAIMER: The information generated for each report is dependent on the point location of the marker. The address locator is not 100% accurate in identifying addresses and results are not considered an official determination. Property owners should contact their local floodplain administrator for more information and to discuss the flood elevations and zones in the vicinity of their property prior to starting any reconstruction activity. Results from this tool are not intended for flood insurance rating purposes.
Before building, be sure to consult with your local government officials to determine the mandatory elevations and construction requirements for your property.
Now Available: Estimated Ground Elevations for Some Locations
For some locations, the report will include an estimated ground elevation for buildings. You will need to consult with a licensed surveyor to determine the actual elevation of your home. In areas where the estimated ground elevation is available, you must click directly on top of your building on the locator map in order for the estimated elevation to appear in the report. Otherwise, ‘N/A’ will appear in the report instead. The estimated ground elevation has been derived from the following sources:
- Detailed topographic data used to develop the preliminary FIRMs.
- Building footprint information for New York City provided by the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
- Building footprint information for Monmouth County, and parts of Bergen, Essex and Hudson County, New Jersey.
- Parcel boundary information for Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union Counties, and portions of Essex and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey.
- Building footprint information for Westchester County, New York provided by the Westchester County GIS Agency (giswww.westchestergov.com).
What Does it Mean if the Report shows ‘N/A’ for All Fields?
The ‘What Is My BFE’ tool will return ‘N/A’ results in cases where 1) updated FEMA flood hazard data has not been developed for a community OR 2) updated FEMA flood hazard data has been released, but the specific property is not actually in an updated flood zone. Updated FEMA flood hazard data has been released for the following communities:
- Preliminary FIRMs: Westchester County, New York, New York City and Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington (Atlantic Coast only), Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Salem, Ocean, and Union Counties, New Jersey.
- Preliminary work maps: coastal-influenced areas of the Delaware River for Burlington County, New Jersey.
- Advisory Base Flood Elevation data for coastal areas of Rockland County, New York.
If your property is located in one of these communities and you receive ‘N/A’ results, it is most likely you are not located in an updated flood zone. However, it is recommended that you consult with your community’s floodplain administrator to better understand how your property is affected by the revised mapping. Even if you are not located in a flood zone, consider purchasing flood insurance if you are in the vicinity of a flood zone to reduce impacts in case a flood does occur.
What Should I Do With the Information in the Report?
- Local building and permitting varies by community. This information will allow you to meet with your local building and permitting authority to discuss building requirements for your property.
- Elevate your home’s lowest floor above the updated flood elevation provided by FEMA or the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on your community’s effective FIRM, whichever is higher. This is a good way to reduce your flood risk and it can also reduce future flood insurance premiums.
- Get other ideas for ways to protect your property from flooding using the information in the report on the Reducing Your Risk page. The Recovery Toolkit for Property Owners also provides valuable guidance and resources if rebuilding following Sandy.
- Once the preliminary flood hazard information becomes final, flood insurance premiums will be affected. Your insurance agent can help you understand how any changes in flood zone or elevation may affect flood insurance requirements and rates for your property.
Questions or comments? Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 or visit our Contacts page to find the right subject matter expert.