What Happens Next in the Map Update Process?
Information for Homeowners & Renters

After the release of a preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), there are certain steps that must happen before it can become a community’s official FIRM.  The FIRM adoption process requires a 90-day appeal period in order to ensure for local input. During the appeal period, community officials and the public can submit scientific or technical information to FEMA if they believe the preliminary FIRM should be revised.

Below are the next steps in the process to be completed before the preliminary FIRMs become final.

Appeal Resolution

FEMA reviews appeals and comments submitted by community officials and the public during the 90-day appeal period to determine any changes warranted to the preliminary FIRMs.  If needed, FEMA will issue revised preliminary FIRMs that incorporate such changes. All feedback submitted during the 90-day appeal period must be resolved before the preliminary FIRMs can move to the next phase.

Map Finalization/AdoptionOcean County, NJ preliminary FIRM panel and FIS

After resolving all appeals, FEMA will finalize the maps, which will become effective after a 6-month map adoption period. Once the FIRM is effective, flood insurance rates and purchase requirements could be impacted for your property depending on changes shown on the maps. You may want to contact an insurance agent to understand implications for your property before the maps are final. Building requirements may also be impacted — be sure to consult with your local officials to understand any new construction requirements that may apply.

Requesting a Change to the FIRM for a Single Property

If you believe your home has been incorrectly included in the Special Flood Hazard Area shown on the newly effective FIRM, FEMA makes available the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process.  The LOMA process is used to officially change the zone designation shown on an effective FIRM (not a preliminary FIRM) for a single lot or structure, if warranted.

Revalidation of Letters of Map Change

FEMA uses the Revalidation Letter process to keep LOMAs issued for the previous FIRM in force, if warranted. Revalidation Letters are sent to your community officials and are effective the day after the new FIRM. The letters list all existing Letters of Map Change (LOMCs) for properties that are confirmed to still be located outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area on the new maps.  You can contact your local officials to view a copy of the letter once issued or view it at the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.

Get Help

If you have questions about flood maps, flood insurance and/or claims, you can use the resources below to speak with a FEMA representative directly. Visit the Contacts page for a full list of topics and resources.