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What is an Elevation Certificate?

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FEMA has developed a standardized Elevation Certificate form that is used to gather elevation data for the purpose of accurately assessing flood risks to structures located in Flood Hazard Zones. An Elevation Certificate must be prepared and certified by a Pennsylvania licensed Land Surveyor.  An Elevation Certificate contains:

  • Accurate determination of Flood Zone and Base Flood Elevation (BFE)
  • Geographic location of structure (latitude & longitude)
  • Ground elevations adjacent to structure foundation
  • Type of structure and foundation system
  • Elevation of lowest storage level (crawlspace, basement, slab, etc.)
  • Elevation of lowest living area
  • Elevation of mechanical equipment (furnace, hot water heater, etc.)
  • Photographs of the structure
Water pours onto the streets in front of Old Main at the Pennsylvania State University's main campus. Photo by Jonathan Mcverry.

Water pours onto the streets in front of Old Main at the Pennsylvania State University’s main campus. Photo by Jonathan Mcverry.

Do I need an Elevation Certificate?

Anyone may voluntarily purchase flood insurance for their home, but if you have recently purchased, refinanced a home or are renewing an existing policy located in a Flood Hazard Zone with a federally guaranteed mortgage, flood insurance is mandatory. When obtaining flood insurance, most providers require an Elevation Certificate prior to issuing a policy. If your insurance provider already has an Elevation Certificate on file, it is most likely transferable.

How do I obtain an Elevation Certificate?

In order to obtain an Elevation Certificate, you must contact and retain the services of a Pennsylvania licensed Land Surveyor authorized by the Pennsylvania professional services registration board to provide land surveying services.

PCI has professional, licensed Land Surveyors available to provide Elevation Certificates throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Please visit our website www.petersconsultants.com for more information.

Flooding on the riverfront homes of the Susquehanna River off of Route 11/15.  From AccuWeather.com's Jesse Ferrel.

Flooding on the riverfront homes of the Susquehanna River off of Route 11/15. From AccuWeather.com’s Jesse Ferrel.

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