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FEMA’s Flood Maps (FIRM) - Understanding and Utilizing This ResourceHSW (Video Course)

Jonathan Terry, P.L.S.

FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) provide data that engineers, surveyors, architects, planners and others use to satisfy the need for flood zone statements and certifications on plans, reports and other documents. These certifications are taken as professional/expert, final, definite, exact, declarative statements of indisputable fact. Yet, the source data (FIRMs) are often inaccurate as to scale, notoriously lacking in detail and just plain old.

Clients frequently request that we state or certify to the “flood zone” or “flood elevation” for a particular property or building located on a parcel of land. Too often professionals consult FEMA’s resources, not quite knowing their limitations, and then provide statements and certifications that lack prudent qualification or sufficient explanation. Many who’ve used FIRMs for years get nervous when consulting this resource and making such certifications or notes on sealed plans. Such feelings are probably an intuitive caution worth exploring.

This course clarifies the FIRMs’ many terms and abbreviations that can be confusing. It promotes a better understanding of both appropriate uses and limitations of Flood Maps and explains the relationship of FIRMs to Flood Insurance Studies (FISs); it explores how “floodways” and Flood Insurance Studies relate to FIRMs. The course includes an in-depth review of FEMA's flood map tutorial in its entirety, plus other resources, illustrations and sample disclaimer statements and notes.

This course is appropriate for new FIRM users and serves as a refresher for experienced users. The course format will encourage the sharing of comments, experiences, and knowledge from participants.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Note: This course requires users to pay first before viewing the course content.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.