Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Store
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Mitigation Division a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the NFIP, and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the Program.
Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.
Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through partnerships with communities, the insurance industry, and the lending industry. Further, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance. And, every $3 paid in flood insurance claims saves $1 in disaster assistance payments.
The NFIP is self-supporting for the average historical loss year, which means that operating expenses and flood insurance claims are not paid for by the taxpayer, but through premiums collected for flood insurance policies. The Program has borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury for times when losses are heavy, however, these loans are paid back with interest.
Flood Insurance Is Required by Law
To get secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA's) you will be required to purchase flood insurance. Lending institutions that are federally regulated or federally insured must determine if the structure is located in a SFHA and must provide written notice requiring flood insurance.
Flood insurance is available to any property owner located in a community participating in the NFIP. All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees, in fact, 25% of all flood claims occur in the low-to-moderate risk areas. Flooding can be caused by heavy rains, melting snow, by inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams, as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes. To find out more, visit the FEMA website.
NFIP Participating Communities
To see a list of Hamilton County participating communities, please visit the Zoning Jurisdictions page. Each zoning jurisdiction within Hamilton County is a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
All current NFIP forms are available electronically on FEMA's website. Examples of forms located here include Elevation Certificate Form, Claims Form, LOMA's, LOMR's, etc.
FEMA flood maps are now available online.
The Hamilton County Surveyor's Office houses paper FIRM Maps for the entire county. However, each of the 9 Planning Jurisdictions are responsible for floodplain management in their respective communities and will have FIRM Maps for their area. Copies can be made for you for a fee. The Hamilton County Surveyor's Office will not make determinations of floodplain for a particular piece of property. The Surveyor's Office recommends that Claim Adjusters, Insurance Professionals, Lenders, and Property Owners visit the office to personally view the maps for the purpose of floodplain determination. The NFIP brochure (PDF) is available online.