Flood Hazard Areas

Floodplains are areas of land susceptible to inundation by floodwaters. Special Flood Hazard Areas are floodplains that adjoin a river, stream, or other inland or coastal waterway that are inundated by water during the 1% annual chance flood (100-year flood). The 1% annual chance flood is a flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in magnitude in any given year. Special Flood Hazard Areas are considered a Wetland Resource Area under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and are depicted on Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) as Zones A, AE, AH, AO, AR, A99, V and VE.

Contact the Floodplain Manager for More Information


Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Suffolk County Now Available

FEMA is in the process of updating FIRMS (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) for coastal areas across the country. The Preliminary FIRMs for Suffolk County are now available on FEMA’s website. A statutory appeal/comment period is estimated to take place during the spring of 2014. During the appeal/comment period, the public, or any interested party, may comment on or appeal the mapping analysis by presenting scientific or technical data supporting their position.

Following resolution of any comments or appeals received, the FIRMS will go through final quality reviews. Once the maps are finalized the City will hold additional neighborhood meetings to address the impacts of the maps. The maps are anticipated to become effective for insurance and building permitting purposes in July 2015.

To find out if your property will be affected by remapping, first find your panel number, and then search the Preliminary Flood Hazard Map page for your panel number.

Find a Flood Map (Panel Number) for Your Property »

Search the Preliminary Flood Hazard Map »


General Flood Information

View everything from educational information about flooding to tips on making an emergency kit.
Flood Information from Ready.Gov

Find resources on understanding flood maps, defining flood risks, the cost of flooding, and more from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Learn how to prepare for storms with information provided by Sea Grant.
MA Homeowners Handbook for Coastal Hazard Prep

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA provides basic flood insurance information for claims adjusters, property owners, insurance professionals, lenders, both state and local officials, and surveyors.
FEMA Flood Information Resources

Search for any property by address on FEMA's Flood Map to find the official flood map of your property.
Find a Flood Map for Your Property

Retrofitting means making changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards such as high winds and earthquakes. Follow FEMA's guide to protect your home or building from these hazards.
Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting

Office of Coastal Zone Management Stormsmart Coasts

The StormSmart Coasts program is designed to:

  • Assist communities and people working and living on the coast by providing information, strategies, and tools to help address challenges arising from erosion, flooding, storms, sea level rise, and other climate change impacts;

  • And promote effective management of coastal landforms, such as beaches and dunes.

Their publications include materials on coastal erosion, flooding, storms, and sea level rise, as well as other publications on coastal geology.
StormSmart Coasts Publications

FEMA Map Update Resources

  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

    The NFIP is a federal program that mandates flood insurance for any structure located in a high-risk area (the 100-year floodplain) that has a federally backed mortgage on the property. It also makes flood insurance available to all property owners, renters, and businesses in communities that join the NFIP.

    More Information about the NFIP

  • The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12)

    In July 2012, the US Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) which requires the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates impact policyholders.

    Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012

  • Impacts to My Property

    To find out how your property will be affected by FEMA's remapping process and the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, please contact your insurance provider directly. He or she is the only person who can answer questions about your property and your policy.