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  • Hurricanes to find the Hurricane Evacuation Zone of a particular address

Flood insurance is required if you live in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defined floodplain and have a federally-backed mortgage.

Flood insurance is not included in regular homeowners insurance, but anyone can purchase flood insurance, whether or not their homes were affected by Hurricane Sandy or are in the FEMA 100-year floodplain.

Learn more about flood insurance.

  • Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Division: National Flood Insurance Program
  • Phone Number: (800) 427-4661
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) identify areas that are at risk of flooding. These maps are tied to the City's Building Code, which establishes safe construction standards for building in the floodplain. Property owners can use these maps to determine their flood insurance requirements.  

You can determine if your structure is in the floodplain. You can also look up your specific preliminary Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and flood zone by address.

Learn about Flood Insurance Rate Maps and find out if you are located in the floodplain.

NYC Property Owner Notification Letters

FEMA sent letters to New York City residents living in or near the FEMA Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map flood zones. The letter advises residents to understand the flood risk and to purchase flood insurance if necessary. If you have received a letter, you should first check whether or not you are in a flood zone. 

If you have a mortgage and are not in a high-risk flood zone, you are not required to buy flood insurance. You can still purchase flood insurance if you prefer.

If you are in a flood zone, you can get more information on flood insurance requirements from FEMA.

Get information on flood insurance and your flood risk.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Update

FEMA has updated their Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to identify areas that are at risk of flooding.

Flood risk is assessed in 3 ways:  

  1. Floodplain: A 100-year floodplain is the area that has a 1% chance of coastal flooding each year. A 500-year floodplain is the area that has a 0.2% chance of coastal flooding each year.  A Riverine is the area near a stream or river that is at risk of flooding.  
  2. Flood Zones:  For New York City, there are five zones. You can find detailed information on the different zones on the FEMA website.
  3. Base Flood Elevation (BFE): A BFE is the elevation to which the 100-year flood event is expected to rise. 

Visit FEMA's Flood Map Service Center website.

FEMA FIRMs Technical Appeal

The Comments and Appeals Period for the City ended on June 28, 2015. The City has filed a technical appeal of the Preliminary FIRMs.

Learn more about the FIRM appeals.

Visit the NYC Flood Maps website.

Department of Buildings (DOB) Offices to Review FIRMs

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

As part of the citywide response to the Coronavirus, Department of Buildings (DOB) customers are strongly encouraged to immediately limit the amount of walk-in traffic to DOB offices.

Learn about the Department of Building's COVID-19 response.

FIRMs can be viewed in person at the DOB office in your borough:

Walk-in hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4 PM.

DOB Bronx Borough Office
1932 Arthur Avenue, 5th Floor
(between East 176 Street and East Tremont Avenue)
Bronx, NY 10457

DOB Brooklyn Borough Office
210 Joralemon Street, 8th Floor
(between Court and Fulton Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11201

DOB Manhattan Borough Office
280 Broadway, 3rd Floor
(between Chambers and Reade Streets)
New York, NY 10007

DOB Queens Borough Office
120-55 Queens Boulevard
(between 80th Road and 82nd Avenue)
Kew Gardens, NY 11424

DOB Staten Island Borough Office
10 Richmond Terrace, Borough Hall, 2nd Floor
(between Staten Island Ferry Terminal and Nick LaPorte Place)
Staten Island, NY 10301

Further Assistance

You can contact a Map Expert for more information and assistance.

  • Agency: Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Division: Map Service Center
  • Phone Number: (877) 336-2627
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours.

New flood insurance policy rates took effect on April 1, 2015. 

Policy renewal premiums will increase as follows:

  • Primary residences: 18% increase
  • Primary residences substantially damaged in Superstorms Sandy or Irene: increase of up to 25%
  • Secondary residences: increase of up to 25%
  • Businesses: increase of up to 25%

Residential and business owners will also pay a new surcharge called the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA)."

You can get more information and connect to housing counseling and legal services.


Get information on flood insurance and your flood risk.

By Phone

    Call 311 for assistance.

    HFIAA Surcharge

    The HFIAA surcharge is mandated by law. The surcharges for the different types of residences are:

    • Primary residences are $25
    • Second residences are $250
    • Businesses are $250

    With the new HFIAA surcharge, you will automatically be charged the second residence rate of $250 unless you prove the home is your primary residence. You will receive a notice from your insurance agent to submit proof.  If you do not provide proof within 30 days of the date of the notice, you will be charged the $250.

    The following proofs of primary residence will be accepted:

    • Driver's license
    • Automobile registration
    • Proof of insurance for a vehicle
    • Voter registration
    • Documents showing where your children attend school
    • Homestead Tax Credit Form for Primary Residence

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