FEMA Elevation Certificates for Homeowners

FEMA Elevation Certificates are important documents that certify your building’s elevation above mean sea level. If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you should provide an Elevation Certificate to your insurance agent for the best rate on flood insurance and to ensure that your premium accurately reflects your risk.  Obtaining an Elevation Certificate also can help you make decisions about mitigation before a flood event and rebuilding after a disaster strikes.

Comparing Your Building’s Elevation to a Potential Base Flood Elevation
Your insurance agent will use the Elevation Certificate to compare your building’s lowest floor elevation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).  This is a flood event with a 1 percent chance of equaling or exceeding the BFE in any given year.  The BFE identifies how high the water is likely to rise in a base flood.  The land area of the base flood is known as the Special Flood Hazard Area, floodplain or high-risk flood zone.  Flood insurance rates in a high-risk flood zone are based on a building's elevation above, at, or below the BFE.

Finding Your Building’s Elevation

When a home is purchased within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), an Elevation Certificate may or may not transfer with the property's sale or othewise be unavailable.  Talbot County as part of its Floodplain Management Ordinance requires an Elevation Certificate for new and other construction activities within the SFHA.  This elevation informaiton may be on file in the Permits and Inspections Department. 

To check the availability of an Elevation Certificate for your building:

1.  Click on this link to open the Locations of Elevation Certificates 2000 -
     2014 Map.
2.  Zoom into the area where your property is located.
3.  Click on the Elevation Certificate symbol closest to your location. 
     Select several certificate symbols on your street to discover the one    
     for your home.
4.  A printable Elevation Certificate will appear.  Check the address and if it
     is the correct certificate, print a copy for your records.
You may also contact the Talbot County Floodplain Management Coordinator, Greg Allis at (410) 770-8031 or gallis@talbotcountymd.gov to determine if an Elevation Certificate is on file for your home.  To have your SFHA located home or buisness structure's elevation certified,contact a Maryland State licensed surveyor, architect or engineer to complete an Elevation Certificate for your building.

Page last modified 01/30/21 15:04:57