A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is a map created by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for floodplain management and flood insurance purposes. These maps are also known as flood maps.
FIRMS, or flood maps, are used to determine flood insurance premium rates and some building code requirements. By law, flood insurance is required for federally backed mortgaged homes residing in flood zones beginning with the letters A or V.
Flood zones or SFHAs (Special Flood Hazard Areas) are geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. Various sources of flooding include but are not limited to: riverine, poor drainage, sheet flow, coastal flooding, rain storms, etc).
A FIRM will generally show a community’s Base Flood Elevations (BFE), floodplain boundaries and flood zones