Floodplain Management

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a voluntary program.  Communities (i.e., local governments) decide to participate in the NFIP, which enables property owners to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. Specifically, communities that agree to manage special flood hazard areas (SFHA) by adopting minimum regulatory standards set forth in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulation §60.3

If a community chooses not to participate in the NFIP, property owners in that jurisdiction are not able to purchase federally backed flood insurance. In addition, federal grants, loans, disaster assistance and federal mortgage insurance are unavailable for the acquisition or construction of structures in the floodplain shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM).

Fortunately, all four of Hawai'i’s counties are participating communities in the NFIP and have adopted floodplain development regulations consistent with 44CFR§60.3. In fact, all four counties have implemented higher regulatory standards (i.e. freeboard, cumulative substantial improvement provisions, etc.) in their local ordinances. 

It’s important for property owners planning on building in or near a SFHA to understand the county floodplain development regulations and to discuss your plans with your county floodplain manager. The table below identifies each county’s floodplain manager, contact information, and links to their respective county’s floodplain development regulations and websites:

County Floodplain
Phone NumberCounty Floodplain
Hawai'i County
Bryce Harada, PE CFM
(808) 961-8327 HCC Chapter 27OPEN
City/County Honolulu
Mario Siu-Li, CFM
(808) 768-8098 ROH Chapter 21A OPEN
Kauaʻi County
Bryan Wienand, PE
(808) 241-4896 KCC Chapter 15 OPEN
Maui County (Interim)
Gary Estanislao
(808) 270-7196 MCC Chapter 19.62 OPEN

Engineers, Surveyors and Architects: Frequently Asked Questions

FEMA’s FAQ page provides engineers, surveyors, and architects answers to the most frequently asked questions on flood hazard mapping and understanding a community or property’s risk to floods. The information below goes into more detail for this audience on FEMA’s requirements and processes on mapping flood risk and flood zones.

Contact the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) if you have further questions or need additional assistance.


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