In 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released preliminary updates to their flood insurance rate maps (PFIRMS) of high-risk flood zones in New York City. These maps are used to determine whether properties are required to purchase flood insurance and conform to local flood resiliency building standards. The updated maps increased the size of high-risk zones in New York City by over fifty percent, adding over 29,000 residential properties.

For new housing developers and existing building owners, it is important to understand the changes in the PFIRMs and the flood insurance program in order to appropriately design new constructions and/or retrofit existing structures.  Developers and owners should also be aware that the New York City building code and zoning resolution were recently updated to incorporate resilient construction standards.

Learn more about Flood Risk and the Flood Insurance Rate Maps in New York City:

New flood resilient construction standards (new development or retrofitting existing buildings) in New York City:

Planning in the flood plain:

Adaptation of existing structures: