What is My Base Flood Elevation (BFE)? Address Lookup Tool
(Formerly What is My ABFE?)
The interactive ‘What is My BFE?’ tool below can help you compare the current effective and the revised FEMA flood hazard data available for your property (See disclaimer below). Get information for your property in three easy steps:
1. Enter your address into the field below and click the “Get Details” button.
***Internet Explorer users: You must click ‘No’ if a security warning pop up window appears on your screen in order for the report to display correctly after clicking the “Get Details” button.***
2. A “flag” (graphic) will be added to the map banner below indicating the location the tool will provide information at. If the “flag” on the map is not directly on your house, click on the location of your house as shown on the map to reposition the flag.The report will be refreshed automatically with information for your actual location.
3. The data fields below the map banner will provide you with both the effective and the most recent revised flood hazard data available* for the address entered.
*Depending on the specific location, the most recent flood hazard data available from FEMA may be Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) data, preliminary work map data, or preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) data.
People with accessibility needs may call 1-800-427-4661 or use our online form to request and receive assistance in identifying and interpreting the flood information for their property.
DISCLAIMER: The information generated on each report is dependent on the point location of the flag (graphic). The flood information included in the report tables below is not a determination. Results from this tool are not intended for flood insurance rating purposes and are for information only. The positional accuracy may be compromised in some areas. The address locator is not 100% accurate in identifying your address. Property owners should contact their local floodplain administrator for more information or to view an official copy of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps and discuss the flood elevations and zones in the vicinity of their property prior to starting any reconstruction activity.
If you have any questions about what you are looking at in the report, click with your mouse on the hyperlinked question in the left column and a glossary will open in a new window, which will provide you with a definition of what is being described.
Now Available: Estimated Ground Elevations for Properties in Some Locations
For certain locations, the What is My BFE? Tool report now includes an estimated ground elevation for buildings. This estimated elevation is determined from available topographic data for the location, which is the same data being used to create revised coastal flood hazard information. You will need to consult with a licensed surveyor to determine the actual elevation of your home.
In areas where the estimated ground elevation is available, you will need to click directly on top of your building shown in the locator map in the What is My BFE? report in order for the estimated elevation to appear in the report. Otherwise, ‘N/A’ will appear in the report in place of an estimated ground elevation.
The estimated ground elevation in the What is My BFE? Report has been derived from the following sources:
•Detailed topographic data used to develop the updated preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for New York City and certain New Jersey communities.
•Digital building footprint information for New York City provided by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, City of New York.
•Building footprint information for Monmouth County, and parts of Bergen, Essex and Hudson County, New Jersey.
•Parcel boundary information for Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union Counties, and portions of Essex and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey.
What Does it Mean if the Report shows ‘N/A’ for All Fields?
The ‘What is my BFE’ tool will return ‘N/A’ results in 2 situations: 1) in cases where ABFE, preliminary work map or preliminary FIRM data has not been developed for a county/community and 2) in cases where ABFE, preliminary work map, or preliminary FIRM data has been released for a particular county/community but the specific location within the county/community is not actually in an updated flood zone. (Note that information for riverine flood hazards will typically not be shown on the report unless preliminary FIRM data has been released.) ABFE data is available for the following counties/communities: (New Jersey) Burlington and Union; (New York) Rockland and Westchester County. Preliminary work maps are available for Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Salem and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. Preliminary FIRMs have been issued for New York City. If your property is located in one of these communities and you receive ‘N/A’ results in a coastal area, it is most likely you are not located in an updated coastal flood zone. However, it is recommended that you consult with your community’s floodplain administrator for additional details.
If you click on the ‘Link to Web Tool’ in the report, it will bring up the location on the FEMA GeoPlatform map for your location – this is an easy way that you can see your location on the map and any coastal flood zones in the vicinity. Even if you are not actually located in a flood zone, you should still consider purchasing flood insurance if you are in the vicinity of a flood zone to reduce the chance of financial impacts in case a flood does occur in the future.
What Should I Do With The Flood Hazard Information in the Report?
As you make decisions for rebuilding and reconstruction, the information provided by the What is My BFE? Tool will provide you with an understanding of the possibility of coastal flooding that can affect your property. Investigations conducted by FEMA and other organizations after major coastal disasters have consistently shown that properly sited, well-designed, and well-constructed coastal residential buildings generally fair well in floods. This information can assist you in your rebuilding efforts and provides a centralized source of risk information for you to discuss permitting requirements with your local building and permitting staff.
• Local building and permitting varies by community. This information will allow you to meet with your local building and permitting authority to discuss your individual property building requirements.
• Consider elevating your home’s lowest floor above the updated flood hazard elevation provided by FEMA or the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on your community’s effective FIRM, whichever is higher. Elevating your structure is a good way to reduce your risk of flooding even if your property is not currently subject to flooding. Elevating your home can also provide a future reduction in flood insurance premiums.
• If your property is subject to coastal wave action, consider breakaway walls and other structural building measures that will allow the building to remain after a storm event.
• Consider relocating your structure (if possible) to minimize the hazards your home or business may encounter.
Before building, property and business owners should consult their local government officials to determine the mandatory elevations and any construction requirements for their home or building.
Questions or comments? Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1(800) 427-4661 or contact us through our online form today.