FEMA - New Coastal Flood Maps

New FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) effective December 20, 2019


On 2010 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiated the California Coastal Analysis and Mapping Project (CCAMP). The vision for a new flood study along the Pacific Coast began in 2003 and with extensive collaboration with many coastal communities, other partners and experts in the filed became a reality. This study provided the first detailed coastal engineering analysis and mapping of the Pacific Coast of California in approximately 30 years. Together with Open Pacific Coast Study and San Francisco Bay Area Coastal Study covered 128 cities and 20 counties.  More Information

New Flood Maps for Oceanside:

CCAMP study provided the necessary data to generate new Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for the areas prone to flooding along the Pacific Coast. These maps reflect flood risks changes due to changes in weather patterns, land development, erosion, and other factors.

The updated maps have a significant impact on flood insurance premiums for all properties within moderate or high-risk flood zones with federally backed loans.

It is important for renters and home and business owners to understand what these changes mean to them. New flood maps are effective December 20, 2019, which means the flood risk for your home or business may have changed. If you are in a high-risk area as of December 20, 2019, or even if you are in a moderate to low-risk area, make sure to protect the life you've built.

To find out the floodzone for your property you can:

  • Visit the FEMA website
  • Contact the City Engineering Division at (760) 435-5086 or (760) 435-5099
  • Contact your insurance agent

New Flood Maps Effective Date:

The new maps became effective on December 20, 2019. Federal law requires lenders to mandate flood insurance on any building carrying a federally backed loan and located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). All zones designations beginning with letters "A" and "V" are considered to be SFHA. Lenders monitor map changes on an ongoing basis. If your structure is designated as being located in the SFHA and you have federally backed loan, your lender will contact you in writing and require flood insurance. Purchasing a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy and keeping continuous coverage will provide the best premiums and you may be eligible for FEMA's “Grandfathering Rule” or “Newly Mapped In Rule”.

Compare 2019 FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to the 2012 Maps:

Previous Effective May 16, 2012: Maps Effective December 20, 2019
  06073C0732G - New for the City
06073C0734H 06073C0734J
06073C0742G 06073C0742H
06073C0753H 06073C0753J
06073C0761G 06073C0761H
06073CIND1D 06073CIND1E - Index Map North County
06073CIND2D 06073CIND2E - Index Map South County
06073CIND3D 06073CIND3E - Index Map East County


How can new maps affect the flood risk and flood insurance?

It is very important to find out how the changes in the pending maps affect your property. Flood insurance premiums may change significantly if your property is moved from Low Risk zone to High-Risk zone. Contact the City, FEMA, or your insurance agent to determine the current and future flood zone for your property. Check with your insurance agent now to select the best policy that can protect your investment. Property owners are encouraged to buy a flood insurance policy soon as possible. Flooding doesn't wait for new maps to become effective. Secure flood insurance coverage now to protect the life you've built and get the best rate. Remember, just one inch of water can cause $25,000 or more in damage.

Properties Moving FROM the Moderate- or Low-Risk Zone to the High-Risk Zone

Flood insurance is required in high-risk areas for property owners with federally-backed mortgages, but all renters and property and business owners should consider carrying it, mortgage or no mortgage, to protect their investment.

If your property is newly identified to be in a high-risk area (Special Flood Hazard Area) or the flood risk for your property has changed to higher-risk, and

  • If you already have a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, you should maintain continuous coverage to get the lowest premium. You may be eligible for “Grandfathering Rules” with the Newly Mapped Procedures.
  • If you do not have a flood insurance and wait until the new maps go in to effect on December 20, 2019, you have approximately 12 months from the new map effective date to get flood coverage. Ask your insurance agent if you qualify for the NFIP's Newly Mapped Program. However, why wait and pay more?

Properties Moving FROM the High-Risk Zone TO a Higher-Risk Zone or Increasing in Base Flood Elevation

  • Residents and business owners who are currently in a high-risk zone (i.e. AE) on the existing flood map but will be re-mapped to an even higher risk zone (i.e. VE) on the new map should purchase or maintain continuous flood insurance coverage before the map becomes effective on December 20, 2019, to stay protected and benefit from the lowest cost premium.
  • Flood insurance premium in VE flood zone are generally more expensive than AE flood zone. However, there is a way to save money. If you purchase and maintain a NFIP policy before the new maps become effective, you may be eligible for continuous coverage grandfathering by locking in your current lower-risk zone or base flood elevation (BFE) for future rating. You must keep continuous coverage and renew your policy annually to stay protected and keep your lower rates.
  • Flood insurance is required in high-risk areas for property owners with federally-backed mortgages, but all renters and property and business owners should consider carrying flood insurance - mortgage or no mortgage. There is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year loan in high-risk areas.

Properties Moving FROM the High-Risk Zone TO the Moderate- or Low-Risk Zone

  • For residents and business owners with federally-backed mortgages whose buildings will no longer be included in a high-risk area (SFHA), flood insurance will now become an option and not mandatory. It is important to remember that your flood risk is lower, but not eliminated. In fact, more than 20 percent of insurance claims come from outside of high-risk areas.
  • Renters and property and business owners whose property is now in the moderate- and low-risk areas should contact their insurance agent to learn how to easily convert an existing policy to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy and receive a refund for the difference in premium.

No Change

  • For residents and business owners who see no change in flood risk, check your current coverage with your insurance agent to be sure your home or business and its contents are still adequately protected against flooding. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
  • For more information about flood risk or lower-cost flood insurance policies, visitwww.Floodsmart.gov/mapchange

How can new maps affect development and construction?

Properties newly identified as being in the high-risk (i.e. AE) areas (SFHA) or have moved to even higher flood risk (i.e. VE) zones may be subject to additional Federal, State and Local rules and regulation. New construction, remodel or rebuilding of structures or grading activities may be subject to additional flood hazard requirements that would mandate:

  • Existing or proposed structure to be raised above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) or wave height.
  • Review and approval from FEMA

Why Carry Flood Insurance?

  • Along with FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, our community is raising awareness of the changes to the flood maps and the potential cost savings for property owners who purchase flood insurance coverage early if their flood risk has changed. The time is now for Oceanside residents and business owners to protect themselves from the significant financial impact of a flood event.
  • Many residents don't realize that flood damage isn't covered by most homeowner policies or renters insurance. And many business owner policies do not cover flooding. Purchasing flood insurance is an easy and important step you can take to protect the things you've worked hard for.
  • Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and the damage can be costly. Just one inch of water in a small home can cause more than $25,000 in repairs.
  • Residents and business owners are encouraged to learn about their options now, as insurance policies can take up to 30 days to go into effect. Don't wait until a storm threatens your property. It could be too late!
  • While our rainiest time of the year is October through April, it can rain any time of the year. And when it rains it can flood.
  • For more information about flood risk or lower-cost flood insurance policies, talk to your insurance agent or visit www.FloodSmart.gov/mapchange.
  • You may also call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at: 1-800-427-4661.