FEMA News & Information for the Twin Harbors

FEMA is currently updating flood map information in Grays Harbor County.

Berglund, Schmidt and Associates, Inc., has been assisting the Cities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Westport in reviewing maps and data since they were received in August, 2011.

This includes the latest Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) that are to be adopted in late 2012.

FEMA is currently reviewing responses from the cities and counties to use in their final map products.


The Purpose of the Elevation Certificate

A FEMA Elevation Certificate is an official form of the National Flood Insurance Program that is completed by a licensed Professional Land Surveyor or Engineer. Berglund, Schmidt & Associates, Inc. (BSA) provides the field work to obtain the elevations of the structure, foundation, and adjacent grades, identifies the foundation type and the existing venting. The elevations are based on existing Benchmark data that is provided by the Government, and the cost of this portion of the work is based on how far the Benchmark is from the client's structure. This data is then entered into the FEMA form along with the Base Flood Elevation provided by the Local Government to complete the certificate.

The Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).

The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate Post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), located in flood insurance Zones A1-A30, AE, AH, A (with BFE), VE, V1-V30, V (with BFE), AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1-A30, AR/AH, and AR/AO. The Elevation Certificate is not required for Pre-FIRM buildings unless the building is being rated under the optional Post-FIRM flood insurance rules.

As part of the agreement for making flood insurance available in a community, the NFIP requires the community to adopt floodplain management regulations that specify minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. One such requirement is for the community to obtain the elevations of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings, and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate provides a way for a community to document compliance with the community's floodplain management ordinance.

Use of this certificate does not provide a waiver of the flood insurance purchase requirement. Only a LOMA or LOMR-F from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can amend the FIRM and remove the Federal mandate for a lending institution to require the purchase of flood insurance. However, the lending institution has the option of requiring flood insurance even if a LOMA/LOMR-F has been issued by FEMA. The Elevation Certificate may be used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request. Lowest floor and lowest adjacent grade elevations certified by a surveyor or engineer will be required if the certificate is used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request. A LOMA or LOMR-F request must be submitted with either a completed FEMA MT-EZ or MT-1 package, whichever is appropriate.

This certificate is used only to certify building elevations. A separate certificate is required for flood-proofing. Under the NFIP, non-residential buildings can be flood-proofed up to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A flood-proofed building is a building that has been designed and constructed to be watertight (substantially impermeable to floodwaters) below the BFE. Flood-proofing of residential buildings is not permitted under the NFIP unless FEMA has granted the community an exception for residential flood-proofed basements. The community must adopt standards for design and construction of flood-proofed basements before FEMA will grant a basement exception. For both flood-proofed non-residential buildings and residential flood-proofed basements in communities that have been granted an exception by FEMA, a flood-proofing certificate is required.

Additional guidance can be found in FEMA Publication 467-1, Floodplain Management Bulletin: Elevation Certificate, available on FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov

Primary Contacts

Berglund, Schmidt & Associates, Inc.

2323 Bay Ave
Hoquiam, WA 98550
360 532 7630
877 419 9683
info@berglundschmidt.com Download our Brochure

Flood Insurance Information

Grays Harbor County

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Mason County

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Pacific County

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Thurston County

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State of Washington

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