Floodplain Management Services

The Floodplain Management Services (FPMS) program, first authorized in Section 206 of the Flood Control Act of 1960, addresses the need for those who live and work in floodplains to know about flood hazards and the actions they can take to reduce property damage and prevent the loss of life caused by flooding.

Through the FPMS program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provides information on flood hazards to local, state, Tribal and other federal agencies to guide development of the floodplains and flood-prone areas of the United States.

Table of example FPMS activities and productsThe program’s objective is to foster public understanding of the options for dealing with flood hazards and promote prudent use and management of the Nation’s floodplains and flood-prone areas. The FPMS program provides a full range of technical services and planning guidance that is needed to support effective floodplain and flood risk management.

The FPMS program funds USACE staff to conduct technical analysis and support to local, regional, state, and other non-federal governmental partners at 100% federal cost. These partners may contribute additional funds to expand the scope of assistance provided. The FPMS program may be used to assist federal agency partners and private individuals on a cost-reimbursable basis. FPMS is not a grant program and does not lead to detailed design or construction projects; implementation is the non-federal partner’s responsibility.

What is a floodplain? A floodplain is the lowland and relatively flat area adjoining inland and coastal waters including flood-prone areas of offshore islands and including, at a minimum, that area subject to a one-percent chance of flooding in any given year (according to Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management).

gif demonstrating floodplain area

What is floodplain management? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floodplain management is a community-based effort to prevent or reduce the risk of flooding, resulting in a more resilient community.

What floodplain management services are available? Under the FPMS program, USACE is authorized to compile and disseminate information on floods and flood damages, including identifying areas subject to inundation by floods of various magnitudes and frequencies, providing general criteria for guidance for use of floodplain areas to federal and non-federal interests and agencies, and advising other federal agencies and local interests on using the criteria when planning flood hazard mitigation. Click here for a list of example projects.

FPMS Sub-Programs

Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE) is a collaborative effort involving experts from states, academia, non-governmental organizations, and private sector engineering organizations that recognizes the value of an integrated approach to coastal risk reduction. SAGE combines ecosystem-based approaches and engineered infrastructure to achieve coastal resiliency on a landscape scale. By working with a public-private forum, SAGE can identify cost efficiencies, improve communication and information transfer, and implement multi-dimensional coastal resiliency projects.

National Nonstructural Committee (NNC) was chartered in 1985 to promote the use of nonstructural measures for reducing life loss and minimizing property damages. The objective of the NNC is to support USACE Headquarters by providing leadership in the development and implementation of nonstructural flood risk management measures, and by providing support for all USACE floodplain and flood risk management activities.

National Hurricane Program (NHP) is a federal interagency partnership between USACE, FEMA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support FEMA’s mandate to “provide evacuation preparedness technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments, including the preparation of hurricane evacuation studies and technical assistance in developing evacuation plans, assessing storm surge estimates, evacuation zones, evacuation clearance times, transportation capacity, and shelter capacity.” While the primary focus of the technical assistance it provides is in support of state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, the NHP also supports federal planning and decision making. The NHP consists of seven major components:

  • Hurricane Evacuation Studies (HES) and Evacuation Planning
  • Hurricane Decision Support Tool (HURREVAC)
  • Storm Surge Risk Products
  • Hurricane Preparedness Training for Emergency Managers and Partners:
  • Hurricane Liaison Team Operational Decision Support
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Post-Storm Assessment

To find your local USACE district, please visit, please visit https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Locations.