Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are being released....
What Happens Next?

Coastal flood study timeline

After FEMA’s release of a preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) there are steps that must happen before the new map can become the community’s official FIRM:

The Resilience Meeting  

At the Resilience meeting, FEMA will meet with community officials to review the preliminary FIRMs and draft flood risk datasets and products for their area and discuss how they can be used to help them take action to reduce future flood risk.

Check the project calendar for upcoming Resilience meeting dates.

Consultation Coordination Officer (CCO) and Open House Meetings

A man addresses an audiences at a community meeting in New JerseyNext, FEMA holds meetings to officially present the maps to the community—first to community officials at the CCO meeting, and then to the public at open houses. During these meetings, differences between the new and effective FIRMs are explained and an overview of the mapping process provided. Attendees can ask questions about the maps, flood insurance, and other topics during the meetings.

Check the project calendar for upcoming CCO/public open house meetings or view presentation slides from CCO meetings already held.

The 90-Day Appeal Period

FEMA provides a statutory 90-day appeal period which allows communities and the public to submit scientific or technical information via community officials if they believe the modified flood hazard information on the preliminary FIRM is not correct. Comments on other aspects of the preliminary FIRM such as road and corporate limit changes are also accepted. The appeal period is started after the CCO and open house meetings, following a public notification process.

The appeal period for the coastal flood study is anticipated to begin in early 2015. As information becomes available, it will be shared with community officials and on this website.

Comments and technical information regarding the preliminary FIRM can be submitted before the appeal period. Learn how, what and when to submit information.

Ocean County, NJ preliminary FIRM panel and FIS

Map Finalization / Adoption 

After resolving all appeals, FEMA will finalize the maps. A Letter of Final Determination sent to community officials starts a 6-month period during which the community must adopt the new FIRM. The FIRM will then become effective and serve as the basis for flood insurance rates and purchase requirements, and local building regulations. 

Learn more about the mapping process in FEMA's publication, Adoption of Flood Insurance Rate Maps by Participating Communities.