The Elevation Certificate reports the relative vertical distance above or below a base flood elevation from a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The FIRMs were produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency of our federal government for use in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The FIRMs were designed to help determine whether a property and building are in a special flood hazard area. The FIRM typically shows no buildings, and many FIRMs are predated in which some newer residential streets are not shown. A surveyor is often called upon to measure the elevation of a building and report on the elevation certificate, how far above or below the base flood elevation is.
Applications for flood insurance must usually be accompanied by an Elevation Certificate, which records a building’s key elevations relative to the calculated base flood elevation of the area in which it is located. Insurance agents and underwriters use the measurements provided on the Elevation Certificate to determine the premium charged to property owners for flood insurance coverage. FEMA Mitigation staff use the measurements to determine whether the ground and building are sufficiently above the base flood elevation to exempt the structure from flood insurance requirements.
If you believe your property is not located in a 100-year floodplain [also known as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)], as shown on your community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and would like FEMA to make an official determination regarding the location of your property relative to the SFHA, you may request a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F).
Our staff can visit the site to take the appropriate measurements to complete the Elevation Certificate and determine if the structure or property in question can be removed from the floodplain. They will also fill out the appropriate forms in order to submit to FEMA for their determination and/or removal.