The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is managed by the National Flood Insurance Agency (NFIP) and uses Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to determine if properties are at risk of flooding. What happens when you hire a professional land surveyor to perform an Elevation Certificate (EC) and have proved that the structure on your property is located above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)? The answer is that you look into your bowl of alphabet soup and pull out some more letters like the following:

File a request with FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). The LOMC is a letter that reflects an official change to a FIRM. There are several different types of LOMCs. Here are the most commonly used ones:

  1. Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). Used in conjunction with an EC to prove to FEMA that the FIRM is incorrect and that the elevation of the structure in question is located above the BFE.
  2. Conditional Letter of Map Amendment (CLOMA). This is used for proposed structures. It proves to FEMA that the elevation of the ground where the structure is to be built is above the BFE.
  3. Letter of Map Amendment based on Fill (LOMA-F). It is similar to a LOMA, but instead of being based on the naturally occurring ground elevations, the property has been elevated by bringing in and adding fill dirt to the lot.
  4. Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). This is an official revision to a FIRM that requires a reprinting or reissuing of the map. This is only done when large areas are affected by the changes.

There are more letters that can be found concerning mapping and the revisions of FIRMS. Visit www.fema.gov for more information. If an EC is performed and the structure is located above the BFE, the most commonly utilized application is the LOMA. Contact a FEMA approved surveyor for more information.