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 City of Boston - Appeal Resolution, July 2015

On July 9, 2015, FEMA issued a letter to the City of Boston stating that they have resolved the City's appeal of the 2013 Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) based upon the data and mapping information provided by the City of Boston. The letter indicates that the data and mapping provided with the appeal have been incorporated into the Revised Preliminary FIRMs and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) for the City of Boston. The Revised Preliminary FIRMs are available on FEMA's website.  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 the Revised Preliminary FIRM for Your Property »


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.

    When floodmap changes occur, the NFIP provides lowe-cost flood insurance options known as "grandfathering". For more information on the Grandfathering Rule, please refer to the FEMA Grandfathering Factsheet and the FloodSmart factsheet.

    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.