Reading the FIRM

FIRM Instructions

  • To get access to the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), click here

FEMA FIRM 1

  • To find a flood map for a specific address or landmark, you may type an address in the search bar or use the Address Search option on the left side of the MSC homepage. Enter an address or place of interest, then click “Search”.
  • Most search results include 2 options and a map that displays your location and the flood zones for the area. The first option creates a printable FIRMette from FEMA’s dynamic digital flood data. If digital data is not available, flood zones will not display, only the FIRM boundaries.


Option A – Print a FIRMette

FEMA FIRM 2

  • Select “Print Map/FIRMette” (icon with blue magnifying glass). This will create a FIRMette in PDF format. This printable map is created dynamically using the current effective FIRM, plus any letters of map revisions issued since.
  • After a few moments, the FIRMette will open in a new browser tab and be centered on the approximate location from Address Search. Once opened, you can save the document or use the “Print to PDF” option to print the document.


Option B – Download a FIRM Panel

  • Select “Download FIRM Panel” (icon with green arrow) for a copy of the original full-size FIRM. After a few moments, a zipped file will begin downloading. Since these static map images show the FIRM as it was published on the original effective date, also check if there are any updates under “Changes to the FIRM”.
  • For additional information on using the FEMA Map Service Center, visit the FEMA Map Service Center: FAQs.
  • Visit FEMA tutorial on how to read the FIRM.