Flood Plain

Home  \  Flood Plain

Flood Map Modernization

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated a Multi-Hazard Flood Map Modernization effort that will result in the improved accuracy and expanded utility of the nation's current flood map resources. Through FEMA's multi-year map modernization project, all of the nation's flood maps will be converted to a digital format, incorporating the best available flood risk data for use with the National Flood Insurance Program.

Flood Maps: A Risk Management Must

Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), are important tools in the effort to protect lives and properties in Erie County. By showing the extent to which areas of the county-and individual properties-are at risk for flooding, flood maps help business and property owners make better financial decisions about protecting their property. These maps also allow community planners, local officials, engineers, builders, and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.

A Better Picture Of Flood Hazards

Over time, water flow and drainage patterns have changed dramatically due to surface erosion, land use and natural forces. The likelihood of inland, ravine and coastal flooding in certain areas has changed along with these factors. New digital mapping techniques will provide more detailed, reliable and current data on county flood hazards. The result: a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and a better foundation from which to make key decisions.

The flood map modernization project is a joint effort between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Erie County, in cooperation with association and private sector partners.

Flood Insurance Requirements and Options

When the new maps are adopted, flood insurance requirements will change. However, options exist that will allow property owners to save money while still protecting their property.

If the maps show change from low or moderate flood risk to high risk the following requirements, options and savings apply:
  • Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood insurance will be federally required for most mortgage holders. Insurance costs may rise to reflect the true (high) risk.
  • Grandfathering offers savings. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has "grandfathering" rules to recognize policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map or who maintain continuous coverage. An insurance agent can provide more details on how to save.
If the maps show change from High flood risk To low or moderate risk the following requirements, options and savings apply:
  • Flood insurance is optional, but recommended. The risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance can still be obtained, at lower rates. Twenty-five 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low to moderate-risk areas.
  • Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be converted to a lower cost Preferred Risk Policy.
If the maps show no change in risk level the following requirements, options and savings apply:
  • No change in insurance rates. Property owners should talk to their insurance agent to learn their specific risk and take steps to protect their property and assets.
To review the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) or to obtain more information, please visit the Erie County Office of Regional Planning at 2900 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH. The maps are available for viewing in the office from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FEMA Map Assistance Center 1-877-FEMA MAP

To Purchase flood hazard maps for a nominal fee: 1-800-358-9616

For questions on flood policy coverage and rates: 1-800-427-4661
View text-based website