Map Adoption Process

FEMA’S map adoption process typically takes between 18-24 months. Please review FEMA’s brochure, “Map Adoption Process,” for more details.

Please note: Other than the 90-day Appeal Period, and 6-Month Adoption/Compliance Period, there are no specific timeframes for the steps in the timeline below.

FIRMs timeline graphic

Important to Know:

  • Morris County has just begun the 90-day Appeal Period.  It started February 15, 2018 and goes to May 15, 2018.
  • Individual property owner’s feedback must first be reviewed by municipal officials, who will compile and provide this information to FEMA

Feedback Welcome

Before preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS) reports are finalized, communities and property owners can provide feedback if they believe the proposed information is not correct. Validated comments and appeals will be reflected in the final FIRM and FIS.

Feedback can take the form of either an Appeal or a Comment.  Please review FEMA’s brochure, “Submission of Appeals and Comments,” which includes the submission form required to submit an appeal or comment.

 To be considered an Appeal, a submittal must:

  • Include data that shows the proposed flood hazard information (e.g. new or modified Special Flood Hazard Area zones or boundaries, Base Flood Elevations, base flood depths, and/or floodway boundaries) is scientifically or technically incorrect;
  • Include the needed revisions to the FIRM and/or FIS report (e.g. boundaries of revised floodplains);
  • Be received during the 90 day appeal period.

The term comment is used for any submittal that does not meet the requirements outlined for appeals above. This includes feedback about road names, jurisdictional boundaries, or other base map features or concerns about proposed flood hazard information that don’t meet the requirements for an appeal.

Appeals Process

Map Finalization/Adoption

After the 90-day Appeals Period has ended, and all appeals have been resolved, FEMA will finalize the maps. A final Flood Hazard Determination (FHD) letter is sent to community officials which initiates a 6-month period during which the community must adopt the new FIRM to be in compliance. The FIRM will then become effective (adopted) and serve as the basis for flood insurance rates and purchase requirements, and local building regulations. Learn more about this process in FEMA’s publication, Adoption of Flood Insurance Rate Maps by Participating Communities.

If you believe your property has been incorrectly included in the Special Flood Hazard, after the FIRM and FIS are adopted, FEMA offers the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) Process.

Previously issued Letters of Map Change (LOMC) undergo a validation process as compared to the new FIRM.  If still valid, they are listed on the community’s Revalidation Letter.  This letter goes into effect one day after the new FIRM’s effective date.