FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program

Flood Waters in Front of BuildingWithin the City of Fife, an Elevation Certificate is mandatory prior to applying for a Certificate of Occupancy and prior to applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) / National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance.

Read information regarding FEMA Flood Maps.

Download the Flood Levee Booklet (PDF).

Buildings constructed within the floodplain must comply with ASCE/SEI 24-05 flood-resistant design and construction standard.


Elevation Certificate

The Elevation Certificate is one of the most important documents currently being used by the NFIP to properly rate flood risk. The certificate is required by the NFIP to certify the lowest floor (reference level) of the building so the policy can be properly rated. It also provides documentation to verify the community’s enforcement of building ordinances, which is important to NFIP mitigation and floodplain management activities.


In order to minimize policy-rating errors, NFIP requires certificates completed on or after October 1, 1997, to include the elevation of the Lowest Floor Elevation, Base Flood Elevation, Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG), and the Diagram Number provided on the certificate form.

The LAG and Diagram Number are not required when completing the Floodproofing Certificate. NFIP prefers that the certificate be provided on the FEMA Form 81-31. However, any other format is acceptable so long as the required information is provided and certified. If the Certificate used is other than the FEMA form, the writing company’s underwriting staff will determine and record the Diagram Number on the flood application.Flood Levee Booklet Cover Opens in new window

Structures Requiring Certificates

The certificate is required for all post-FIRM structures built on or after the publication of the initial Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) or December 31, 1974, whichever is later, for risks located in flood zones A1-A30, AE, AH, V1-V30, VE and un-numbered A and V (with estimated Base Flood Elevations).


The certificate must be completed by a registered land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is authorized by state or local law to certify elevation information.