Begin Main Content Area

​Determine Your Flood Risk

Whether you’re a homeowner, homebuyer, tenant, insurance provider, or floodplain manager, it’s important to know and anticipate your current and future flood risk status.

To aid your research, the commonwealth created the PA Flood Map Tool to help you make informed decisions about flood risk. This step-by-step interactive process is designed to help you understand your flood risk and what your next steps should be based on your personalized results.

If you live in a community where flood maps are being updated, determining your flood risk is an important task. Updates to the maps, which are occurring throughout the state, can affect your flood insurance. Learn more below.

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

​How do flood map updates affect insurance?

​The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) releases the digital flood insurance maps (DFIRMs) on a community-by-community basis.

Click to learn more about flood maps and insurance.

It is important to investigate your flood risk status and contact your insurance agent to make necessary modifications to your coverage while the maps are still preliminary.

If your building is not currently in the floodplain but will be based on the updated DFIRM, it’s important to purchase flood insurance before the updated maps become effective as you might qualify for a plan at a reduced rate. If your building is currently in the floodplain, it’s still important to check your future flood risk status, as your coverage may need to change based on your situation.

Talking to your insurance provider is recommended if your building is in or out of the floodplain to make sure you are protected.

Note: Some mortgage providers may also require flood insurance if the floodplain is on your property and does not touch your building.

​How do I change my flood zone designation?

​Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs) and Letters of Map Revision (LOMR) enable property owners to request changes or updates to their property’s flood risk status to FEMA.

Click to learn more about changing your flood zone designation.

Learn more about how to request a change to your flood zone designation at FEMA’s website.

What are the recommended next steps to take action?

Next steps are to determine your insurance coverage and reduce your risk.

Click to learn how to take action.

​Determine Your Insurance Coverage

  • If you already have flood insurance, locate a copy of your policy in your files or obtain it from your insurance agent.
  • If you are not sure if you have flood insurance, contact your insurance agent to inquire. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance; your flood insurance is separate from your homeowners insurance.

Reduce Your Risk

There are many things you can do now to reduce the risk to your family and property from flooding:

  • Buy flood insurance. Even if you are not located in a high-risk flood zone (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA), remember that flooding can happen anywhere it rains.
  • Reduce your risk from flooding by buying or building outside of the SFHA or consider making changes to your home to protect it against future floods. Learn more through the following resources:

​What should I know about homeowners flood insurance reform?

In 2004, Congress passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Reform Act, which reformed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provided a means for property owners to protect themselves financially from flood events.

Click to learn more about flood insurance reform.

The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements.

Learn more about how this legislation may affect you.