Introducing the Forerunner Academy, a learning platform for floodplain managers
Explore now

Getting started with the new Elevation Certificate

July 13, 2023
Lucy Randl

Elevation Certificates (ECs) are central documents in floodplain management and they’re updated periodically to ensure that they are capturing the most relevant and valuable information. Each time a new Elevation Certificate is published, surveyors, floodplain managers, and insurance agents have to act quickly to understand the parameters of the new document, since the expectation is that it should be used immediately. The latest Elevation Certificate contains significant changes and has been eagerly anticipated – it was recently approved and should be used going forward through June 2026. Note that the CRS program will accept both forms until November 1, 2023. After that, you must submit the new EC Form.

We are keeping a close eye on new developments to understand the impacts to floodplain management and our community partners. Our product team is also working diligently to incorporate all the updates into our EC features.

Since we’re keeping apprised of emerging guidance, we compiled some of our key resources and learnings in this blog as a tool for the wider floodplain management community. Feel free to revisit this post – we will be adding to it as we continue to navigate the change! We will also be hosting a training webinar and creating additional resources to help you understand the requirements of this new form. Stay tuned for more updates!

Overview

Sources: FEMA, Starr II Region 10 News Flash, ASFPM, Flood Rush (Floodproofing.com newsletter)

The new Elevation Certificate and new Dry Floodproofing Certificate have been approved and should be used going forward through 06/30/2026 to comply with community floodplain management ordinances, inform the proper insurance premium, and/or support a request for a Letter of Map Change.

Download the new Elevation Certificate on FEMA’s website: NFIP Underwriting forms.

Note: If you get an error when trying to download the form from FEMA’s website, it may be due to  incompatibility issues with the PDF viewer. To work around this, right click on the Download File link, select “save link as” – then, save it to your PC. Take a look at this GIF walkthrough for more guidance!

Expired forms

Sources: ASFPM

On August 9th, FEMA shared the following guidance on using the expired Elevation Certificate:

  • For NFIP insurance rating purposes, FEMA will accept a properly completed prior Elevation Certificate or Floodproofing Certificate that is signed or certified prior to November 1, 2023.
  • For NFIP communities participating in the CRS Program, FEMA will accept a properly completed prior Elevation Certificate or Floodproofing Certificate that is signed or certified prior to November 1, 2023.
  • In NFIP non-CRS communities, for floodplain management compliance purposes, communities can use their discretion for certifying elevation information.

High level changes

Sources: FEMA, Starr II Region 10 News Flash, ASFPM, Flood Rush (Floodproofing.com newsletter)

Elevation Certificate high level changes:

  • A new Section H is available for use in all flood zones to determine the building's first floor height for NFIP insurance purposes. 
  • Additional photographs must be submitted with all Elevation Certificates.
  • Instructions for other sections have been revised and clarified to ensure greater consistency and accuracy in the information provided.
  • Two new form sections (H and I) can be used for NFIP insurance policy rating without a professional survey.
  • Section G (for community officials) connects the form to local permit and variance decisions, and documents compliance with higher standards.
  • An updated flood opening section to input total certified rated area for engineered openings.

Dry Floodproofing Certificate high level changes:

  • There is a revised format requiring separate certification of building design, elevation, and construction.
  • There is a new Required Documentation page.
  • Additional information collected on the dry floodproofing certificate form (in Section I) supports determination of where dry floodproofing approach is viable, and where a building is eligible for floodproofing discount.
  • Separate sections to certify the design (II), the as-built elevation (III), and confirm that the design & construction meets the performance standards (IV).

FEMA included illustrations in Attachment A in their memo, providing underwriting guidance on how to use the EC for first floor height. The updated guidance will appear in the next Flood Insurance Manual update.

New fields required for the CRS program

Sources: FEMA, Starr II Region 10 News Flash, ASFPM

Several new fields on the new Elevation Certificate will now be required for the CRS program (in addition to the existing fields required). The new fields are listed below:

  • A5 Lat and Long 
  • A6 (at least 2, preferably 4 or more, clear photos must be submitted with each EC)
  • All of A8 (when appropriate)
  • All of A9 (when appropriate)
  • B1.a. and B1.b 
  • C2f (LAG) and C2g (HAG): check boxes are now required for either “Natural” or “Finished” grade (when Section C is used)
  • Section E – the stage of construction “Construction Drawings”/Buildings Under Construction”/“Finished Construction” must be marked when this section is used.
  • E5 must be completed (when appropriate)
  • G8  
  • G11  
  • Local officials’ Name, Signature and Date in Section G

The new Sections H and I are for insurance purposes only and are not reviewed for CRS purposes.

The CRS program will accept both forms until November 1, 2023. After that, you must submit the new EC Form.

Upcoming educational opportunities

We'll add any more that we hear of!

Additional Resources

Impacts to Forerunner

Given that Forerunner supports EC management and provides EC error detection, we have been preparing for this change for several months to ensure a seamless transition.

Rest assured that the new Elevation Certificate can be uploaded to our platform, and many of our communities are already doing so! Once uploaded, we still extract the data and geocode it onto the property information panel - so anytime a user searches for a property, they can access the EC.

We are currently working on updates on the back-end to ensure that our EC Error Detection Feature accounts for the new fields in the new EC. This will be ready in the near future!

For more information on Elevation Certificates, reference our blog:

If you are interested in learning more about Forerunner, request a demo, browse our case study library, or reach out to support@withforerunner.com

Sign up for our newsletter!

Receive a monthly update from us with news, product updates, and resources from our team.

You can unsubscribe at any time. View our Privacy Policy.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download the Whitepaper
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Register for the Webinar
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready to increase your community’s resilience?

Request demo
Sign up for our newsletter!

You can unsubscribe at any time. View our Privacy Policy.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.