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Flood Elevation Certificates and LOMA/lOMR

Step into the world of flood risk management with our blog, where we unravel the intricacies of Flood Elevation Certificates (FECs) and Letters of Map Amendment and Revision (LOMAs and LOMRs). In an era marked by rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, these documents play a crucial role in assessing and mitigating flood risk for property owners. Join us as we explore the essential aspects of Flood Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Amendment and Revision.

Elevation Certificates

If your home or business is in a high flood risk area, you will likely need an Elevation Certificate (EC). A flood elevation certificate is a vital document used to determine the precise elevation of a structure/property relative to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) established by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). This certificate contains crucial information such as the property’s location, flood zone designation, building characteristics, and most importantly, the elevation of the lowest floor, aiding in assessing flood risk and determining insurance premiums. There may be a requirement by your insurance carrier to provide an Elevation Certificate for purchase of flood insurance if the property is located within a flood hazard zone as determined by FEMA. This requirement may be triggered as a part of the sale of the property or as a part of a new construction or remodel of a building. Prepared by licensed surveyors, these certificates adhere to FEMA guidelines and local regulations, ensuring accuracy and consistency in flood risk assessment. Lenders often require these certificates for mortgage applications, particularly for properties in flood-prone areas. Ultimately, Elevation Certificates serve as a cornerstone for flood insurance pricing, regulatory compliance, and informed decision-making regarding property development and management in flood-risk areas.

When in need of a Elevation Certificate, it is crucial to hire licensed professionals that will take you through every step of the process. At Viox & Viox, we have a great surveying team filled with licensed land surveyors who have decades of experience dealing with flood issues and FEMA in Kentucky and Ohio. It is best to work with licensed professionals who not only have experience dealing with FEMA, but who also use state-of-the-art technology and strict data quality standards to make sure our clients are receiving accurate information on their Elevation Certificate. Should any issues arise, or should you need to discuss your Elevation Certificate with insurance providers or FEMA, Viox & Viox will have been involved in every step of the process from the beginning, and will be well-equipped to deal with these issues.

Letters of map amendment and revisions

Occasionally homeowners may be incorrectly designated for a certain flood zone and want to file paperwork to reclassify the property. In these instances the homeowner will file a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). LOMA and LOMR are used to address instances where a homeowner was incorrectly placed into a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). This process is called a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). If you feel your property is wrongly classified, contact us and we can check your property’s elevation and file all the necessary paperwork for the LOMC. For more information on LOMA and LOMR and the corresponding forms visit FEMA.gov.

Depending on your development, there are options to securing a LOMC which vary with the design of your structure. Here are the basic types of LOMCs applicable to property owners:

  • Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): A letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land that has not been elevated by fill (natural grade) would not be inundated by the base flood.
  • Conditional Letter of Map Amendment (CLOMA): A letter from FEMA stating that a proposed structure that is not to be elevated by fill (natural grade) would not be inundated by the base flood if built as proposed.
  • Letter of Map Revision – Based on Fill & Conditional Letter of Map Revision – Based on Fill (LOMR-F & CLOMR-F) – Owners of structures (or parcels of land) raised above the base flood by the placement of fill may request a LOMR-F. Fill is defined as material from any source placed to raise the ground (natural grade) to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
  • Letter of Map Revision & Conditional Letter of Map Revision (LOMR / CLOMR) – This process is generally reserved for municipalities and community developers who are building regional drainage facilities that alter the floodplain and floodway directly. The technical requirements are much greater and can require a lengthy review process from FEMA and local agencies.

Flood insurance, elevation certificates, and map amendments can seem daunting, confusing or expensive at times. By going through a licensed surveyor at Viox & Viox, you can ensure that the process is done correctly and in a thorough manner the first time.