FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) Update

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Information

As a public service, Howard County Government provides residents with floodplain information upon request based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Visit the County’s Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map website to view mapping and information on:

  • Flood zone and base flood elevation and depth
  • Location and elevation of a property or building structure relative to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Information on historic FIRMs
  • Information on County-regulated floodplains

FEMA’s 2013 Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for the FIRMs can be found here: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.

The old, superceded version of the FIS, along with paper FIRMs are available for viewing at the Stormwater Management Office located at 9801 Broken Land Parkway, Columbia, MD 21046.


Elevation Certificates

Current Elevation Certificates in the County can be found here.


Flood Insurance Information

If a building is within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), a lender is required by law to require a loan recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. Therefore, if your building is in a SFHA and you have a mortgage loan from a federally related financial assistance program or from a lender that is regulated, supervised, or insured by federal agencies, you would be required to purchase flood insurance. SFHAs are considered to be high risk Flood Zones A and AE. Federal law does not require flood insurance purchases in moderate risk Shaded Zone X or low risk Flood Zone X areas, however, lenders and/or insurance agents could still require you to purchase flood insurance based on their own risk assessment and judgment. If your building or property is outside of FEMA’s SFHA or outside of the County-regulated 100-year floodplain, you still have the option to purchase flood insurance if you feel it is warranted. If you have ad