310 Elevation Certificates
400 Mapping and Regulations

310
Elevation Certificates

The community must maintain Elevation Certificates for all buildings constructed or substantially improved in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

312.a
Maintaining Elevation Certificates (EC)

Elevation Certificates are a core document for the Community Rating System (CRS).

Level of effort = highRequired for Class 9

Overview

For this element, communities are required to maintain Elevation Certificates (ECs) for all buildings built or substantially improved in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Maintenance includes checking to verify that the Elevation Certificates (ECs) are complete and correct as well as making them available upon request. Most communities already have Elevation Certificates (ECs), as they are required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Considerations

Collecting and maintaining Elevation Certificates (ECs) is a minimum requirement for CRS participation. Some communities have difficulty with document continuity, so it's important to create an Elevation Certificate (EC) storing system that is robust. You can receive credit under 352.c Flood Protection Website (WEB) for making your Elevation Certificates available on your Flood Information Website.

Documentation

Two months before your community’s visit with your CRS Specialist, you must provide documentation of the following:

  • A list of all permits issued for new and improved buildings
  • Copies of the Elevation Certificates (ECs) for those buildings (paper or digital)
  • Other required certificates, including:

    • FEMA’s Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures
    • V Zone Design Certificate for buildings in coastal high hazard areas
    • FEMA’s Residential Basement Floodproofing Certificate (if applicable)
  • A written description detailing how your community is maintaining and sharing your Elevation Certificates (ECs)

Credit Calculation

Max: 38

During verification visits, at least 90% of the Elevation Certificates (ECs) reviewed by your CRS Specialist need to be correct in order for your community to stay in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS Specialist will provide feedback and allow you to correct Elevation Certificate (EC) errors. The number of credits your community receives is calculated during verification review and is dependent on how many Elevation Certificates (ECs) are initially correct. As such, while you receive a chance to correct your certificates, it is important that you maximize the number of initially errorless Elevation Certificates (ECs). The credit calculation is structured as follows:

38 x (# of errorless Elevation Certificates (ECs) sampled)/(total # of Elevation Certificates (ECs) sampled)

The above calculation can be understood as: the total # of awardable points (38) multiplied by the % of correct Elevation Certificates (ECs).

If there are no new buildings built or substantially improved since the last certification round, your community automatically receives full credit.

312.b
Maintaining Elevation Certificates for post-FIRM buildings (ECPO)

This element is almost exactly the same as 312.a, but applies specifically to post-FIRM buildings.

Level of effort = high

Overview

For this element, communities must maintain Elevation Certificates (ECs) for all post-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings built or substantially improved in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), make sure the Elevation Certificates (ECs) are complete and correct, and make the the Elevation Certificates available upon request.

Documentation

Two months before the visit, your community must provide:

  • A list of all permits issued for post-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings
  • Copies of the Elevation Certificates (ECs) for those buildings (paper or digital)
  • Other required certificates, including:

    • FEMA’s Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures
    • V Zone Design Certificate for buildings in coastal high hazard areas
    • FEMA’s Residential Basement Floodproofing Certificate (if applicable)
  • A written description of how the Elevation Certificates are maintained and shared

Credit Calculation

Max: 48

To get credit for this element, at least 90% of all Elevation Certificates reviewed need to be correct. For full credits, all Elevation Certificates (ECs) for post-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) must be errorless. Your community automatically receives maximum credit if there are no post-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

312.c
Maintaining Elevation Certificates for pre-FIRM buildings (ECPR)

This element is almost exactly the same as 312.a, but applies specifically to pre-FIRM buildings.

Level of effort = high

Overview

For this element, your community must maintain Elevation Certificates (ECs) for all pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings built or substantially improved in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), make sure the Elevation Certificates (ECs) are complete and correct, and make the Elevation Certificates available upon request.

Documentation

Two months before the visit, your community must provide:

  • A list of all permits issued for pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings
  • Copies of the Elevation Certificates for those buildings (paper or digital)
  • Other required certificates, including:

    • FEMA’s Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures
    • V Zone Design Certificate for buildings in coastal high hazard areas
    • FEMA’s Residential Basement Floodproofing Certificate
  • A written description of how the Elevation Certificates are maintained and shared

Credit Calculation

Max: 30

To get credit for this element, at least 90% of all Elevation Certificates reviewed need to be correct. Full credit is awarded if all of the Elevation Certificates (ECs) for pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are correct. If there are no pre-FIRM buildings in the in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), you receives full points.

This CRS guide was produced by CRS professionals and Certified Floodplain Managers to help you navigate the Community Rating System. It is not meant to replace FEMA's official CRS Coordinator's Manual, nor should it supersede the instructions given by your ISO/CRS Specialist.

For additional resources, visit https://crsresources.org/ .