Coastal Flood Risk

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV Office in Atlanta has undertaken a multiyear coastal flood risk study effort to better identify, quantify, and communicate the coastal flood hazards and associated risks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and North and South Carolina and to produce updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). This effort is being undertaken as part of the FEMA Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) program.

The coastal flood risk study process consists of five phases:

Phase 1 – Kickoff and Discovery Meetings
Phase 2 and 3 – Technical Outreach Meetings
Phase 4 – Consultation Coordination Office Meetings and Flood Risk Open Houses
Phase 5 – Appeal/Compliance Periods and Resilience Meetings

To learn more about the coastal flood risk study process, please visit the FEMA Region IV Coastal Analysis and Mapping Web Portal.

To receive periodic news in your email about FEMA’s coastal flood hazard mapping studies and other coastal-specific information, please sign up for the Coastal Flood Risks Email List.

View your community’s Preliminary Flood Hazard Data by clicking HERE!

To protect against floods, it is important to know the risks your area faces, the role you play in minimizing these risks, and the actions you can take to protect your community. For more information, please click HERE!

In coastal communities across the country, residents may not know their property is at risk from wave damage.

On FEMA flood maps, the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) shows high-risk areas that would be affected by the 1%-annual-chance flood (or base flood). Within the SFHA, Zone VE is the zone closest to the shoreline. Zone VE is used on flood maps to indicate areas where wave action and fast-moving water can cause extensive damage during the base flood event, with wave heights of 3 feet or higher. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires stricter floodplain management and construction requirements for structures in Zone VE to account for these hazards.

However, decades of post-storm observation have shown FEMA that waves as small as 1.5 feet can significantly damage buildings that were not built to withstand wave hazards. FEMA developed the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) to show communities where waves greater than 1.5 feet high may cause damage. Where available, the LiMWA line on coastal flood maps marks the inland limit of the Coastal A Zone. To learn more about LiMWA, please click HERE!

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