A FEMA Elevation Certificate is a document often requested by mortgage or title companies or flood insurance companies who want to determine the status of a building in relationship to the flood plain as it relates to the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The information on the Elevation Certificate may be used to determine flood insurance rates for the client.
- Instructions for the Elevation Certificate are available here
- The instructions describe the information to be entered on the certificate.
- Instructions for using Map Search here: http://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/mapstore/docs/instructions_mapsear...
- It is important for the field crew performing the survey to be aware of the building type described in the instructions and to collect all necessary measurements needed for each building type.
- It is also very important to measure the lowest floor, including the basement or crawl space, and the elevations at the bottom of window wells, or exterior stairwells.
- It is necessary to establish the elevation of the building and the adjacent grades to complete the elevation certificate. This means the field crew will be required to run a bench loop from the nearest known benchmark to the site. The distance from the nearest benchmark to the client's property often determines the cost of the elevation certificate.
- If there are multiple structures for which certificates are being prepared, the surveyor must locate the structures in relation to the property and prepare a site plan, designating the buildings with labels that can be cross referenced on the elevation certificate.
- Pictures of the structure, from multiple perspectives, is also required.