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Indiana Floodplain Mapping FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Indiana Floodplain Mapping Program

FEMA Floodplain Mapping Section

  • What is DNR’s involvement in Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?

    Indiana DNR serves as a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) with FEMA. This programs mission is to strengthen the effectiveness of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and support FEMA’s mitigation objectives. The CTP Program leverages partnerships to deliver high-quality hazard identification and risk assessment products, provide outreach support and empower communities to take action to reduce risk based on informed, multi hazard-based data and resources. By participating in the program IDNR can actively work to identify and map flood risks while incorporating this information into official FEMA flood hazard data.

  • When the maps are updated what does that mean exactly?

    With respect to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, there is a formal process for getting new or updated floodplain information on the maps. FEMA recognizes the need for updating mapping based on new topography, new hydrology, and incorporation of any projects that have been completed since the last comprehensive update.

  • When are the affected parties brought to the table?

    There are a number of touch points through the FEMA mapping process:

    1. Discovery Meeting - These meetings are held with community officials to gather any existing issues with the maps and identify areas where floodplain information is needed. These meetings are summarized in Discovery Reports.
    2. Flood Risk Review Meetings - These meetings are held, with local floodplain administrators to review draft versions of new maps and bring any concerns they have with new floodplain mapping. If there are concerns, then we work to address them before the maps go to preliminary.
    3. Community Consultation Officer (CCO) Meetings - These meetings are held with local officials to provide an overview of the Preliminary Maps. At this meeting, local officials are also provided information on the appeal and ordinance update process.
    4. Flood Risk Open Houses - These open houses, which follow the CCO meetings, are where the public is invited to view the maps, ask questions, and provide comments. IDNR sends out notices to affected landowners (not a FEMA requirement), to invite them to the Open House. We also take concerns at these meetings and will review specific issues before we go into the appeal period.
  • How does a preliminary map become effective?

    After the open house, there is a 90-day appeal period which begins with newspaper notifications in a local newspaper. Once the appeal period has ended and any appeals are resolved, the mapping products will be finalized. When completed, FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination which sets a 6-month period for maps to be adopted by communities before the maps become final.

  • What if a person disagrees with the new flood zone on FEMAs Map for a piece of property?

    There are two options:

    1. Appeal Process - An appeal is a formal objection to new or revised Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) shown on a Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) or Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report. Predicted flood elevations can be appealed if they are shown to be scientifically or technically incorrect.

      If you would like to appeal new or revised floodplain information, we highly recommend contacting an engineering or surveying firm to assist with the highly technical information needed.

    2. Comment Process - Any submittal that does not meet the criteria to be consider an appeal is processed as a comment. Comments are generally regarding the delineation of the updated floodplain and/or floodway boundaries, corporate limits, road names, and road locations.

    Resolution of Appeal and Comment Petitions

    After the appeal period has closed, FEMA will review submitted data to determine if it constitutes a valid Appeal or Comment. Letters will be sent to communities explaining the resolution of any Appeals or Comments. If a formal petition supports a revision FEMA will update the Preliminary Maps and issue Revised Preliminary Maps.

  • How can I find out when new maps will become available for my community? How can I get more information?

    Visit the Indiana DNR Department of Natural Resources on floodmaps.

    Or contact us at:

    Indiana Department of Natural Resources
    Division of Water
    402 W. Washington Street, Room W264
    Indianapolis, IN 46204
    877-928-3755 (Toll Free)

Letter Of Map Change

  • The FEMA floodplain map for my community shows my structure to be in the Special Flood Hazard Area. Are there any options to change the map? How are properties exempted?

    For exemption from the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement, a property owner would need to file for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). A LOMA is a letter that officially revises an effective FEMA floodplain map and establishes that a specific property or building is not located in the Special Flood Hazard Area. The LOMA does not physically revise the map, but rather amends the map. The letter is an official statement from FEMA stating that the specific property in question is not located in the Special Flood Hazard Area

  • How does one obtain a LOMA?

    For buildings constructed before the publication of the first FEMA flood map that identified the structure as being in the Special Flood Hazard Area, it must be shown that the lowest ground elevation where it touches the foundation on the outside of the building – what FEMA refers to as the lowest adjacent grade – is above the base flood elevation. An entire lot or parcel can be removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area if the lowest ground elevation within the boundaries of the parcel is at, or above, base flood elevation.  FEMA requires that property owners hire a licensed surveyor or professional engineer registered in Indiana to obtain the surveyed elevations of the lowest adjacent grade in order to complete application. FEMA does not charge any fees to process and review MT-EZ forms for a LOMA.  However, since FEMA requires property owners to obtain survey data to complete a LOMA, property owners are responsible for the cost of hiring a licensed surveyor or professional engineer registered in Indiana.


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