SC Floodplain Mapping Initiative
The citizens of the State of South Carolina face significant hazards from floods and hurricanes, and more than $7 billion in damages has occurred from flood and hurricane events in the last 25 years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood hazard maps are one of the essential tools for flood hazard mitigation in the United States. Throughout the years, many of these maps had become outdated, and significant areas of the country remain unmapped.
Understanding the need for current, accurate flood maps the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources became a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1999. The State of South Carolina is committed to reducing flood risks within the State. Through the CTP program the SCDNR works with FEMA to update flood hazard information for all of the State's 46 counties.
In 2002, South Carolina alone had over 75 communities that had not been mapped. In recognition of the connection between flood mitigation, risk reduction, and reliable flood maps, the President and the US Congress provided substantial funding for Flood Map Modernization starting in Fiscal Year 2002.
In 2009, FEMA transitioned to the Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) program. Risk MAP builds on the flood hazard data and maps that were produced as part of the Flood Map Modernization Program. The vision for Risk MAP is to deliver quality data that increases public awareness and leads to action that reduces risk to life and property.
The goals for Risk MAP are as follows:
- Goal 1: Address gaps in flood hazard data to form a solid foundation for flood risk assessments, floodplain management, and actuarial soundness of the NFIP.
- Goal 2: Ensure that a measurable increase of the public's awareness and understanding of risk management results in a measurable reduction of current and future vulnerability to flooding.
- Goal 3: Lead and support state, local, and tribal communities to effectively engage in risk-based mitigation planning resulting in sustainable actions that reduce or eliminate risks to life and property from natural hazards.
- Goal 4: Provide an enhanced digital platform that improves management of limited Risk MAP resources, stewards information produced by Risk MAP, and improves communication and sharing of risk data and related products to all levels of government and the public.
- Goal 5: Align Risk Analysis programs and develop synergies to enhance decision making capabilities through effective risk communication and management
The FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have entered a new era. FEMA's Map Service Center provides multiple ways to access the Flood Information. This is where a FIRMette can be created, the National Flood Hazard Layer, DFIRMs, and the DFIRM database can be downloaded, and where FIRMs and the Flood Insurance Study can be ordered.
Also, keep in mind that each participating community keeps a paper copy of the FIRMs on file in the local floodplain manager's office.
FIRM Backup Data
Obtaining the backup data for the newly updated FIRMs can be done through the FEMA Map Service Center. The information is provided as a digital version of the FEMA flood insurance rate map that is designed for use with digital mapping and analysis software known as the DFIRM Database.
Online Hazard Maps (ESRI)