Parcel Level Determinations

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We've reconfigured out mapping to give you geospatial information by parcel, when possible, instead of by geocoded point. This will help those of you who use our dashboard to inform flood zone determinations, since now we can tell you if an address is associated with a parcel that falls between more than one zone. You'll find this change in the Map section of your Forerunner dashboard. Navigate to an address by clicking on an orange EC point or by searching for the address. Once the Property Info Panel populates, you'll find that the map highlights the parcel corresponding to the address with a blue line. The Flood Zones and BFEs listed under Firm map info in your Property Info Panel will be determined using this parcel outline. If the parcel falls between two or more flood zones, we will show you information for the most restrictive flood zones. These zones are ranked, from most restrictive to least, in the following order:

  1. Zone VE

  2. Zone AE

  3. Zone AO, AH

  4. Zones A99

  5. Zone AR

  6. Zone V

  7. Zone A

  8. Zone X (0.2 pct annual chance flood hazard)

  9. Zone X (area of minimal flood hazard)

While this level of detail is more specific than point data, please note that the determination is for a parcel, not a given structure. You'll find a disclaimer noting this at the bottom of the Firm map info section of your Property Info Panel. If a parcel outline is not available for a given address, the determination will be placed on a geocoded point instead. The disclaimer at the bottom of the section will note this for your information.

Building Attribute Info

You can now view information transcribed from your Elevation Certificate directly on your Property Info Panel! To make it easier to track compliance and respond to resident requests, the panel now displays key elevation data along with datum conversions for those elevations.

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To view this change, navigate to an individual address on your Map. In your Property Info Panel, under Parcel info, you'll find a new section titled Building attribute info. This section of your panel will display a number of useful fields including:

  • Building Diagram Number
  • Top of Bottom Floor
  • Top of Next Higher Floor
  • Bottom of the Lowest Horizontal Structural Member
  • Attached Garage
  • Lowest Elevation of Machinery
  • Lowest Adjacent Grade
  • Highest Adjacent Grade
  • Lowest Adjacent Grade at Deck or Stairs

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If you have multiple ECs on file for a property, this info will come from your latest Elevation Certificate. You'll find a note at the bottom of the section that points you to the EC data source.

In addition to the transcribed building attribute information, we're happy to also provide automatic datum conversion for your elevation certificates. At the top right-hand corner of the section, you'll find a toggle button that enables you to switch between NAVD 1988 and NGVD 1929 values. These datum conversions use NOAA's conversion API.

Some additional points to note:

  • Depending on scan quality and PDF completeness, some fields might be omitted from transcription. You can refer to the original PDF to verify transcribed data at any time.
  • The transcribed data can also be viewed using the View Document action in your Elevation Certificate table. Read our previous product update for a recap of this view.

New EC Action: View Document

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Our team continues to ship new functions to make your Elevation Certificate workflow easier. This week, we've added a new EC view to the Certificates section of your dashboard. To get there, click Certificates on your main sidebar. This new addition, along with a few older EC actions, have now been condensed under Actions on the righthand side of your Certificates table. You'll find that each Elevation Certificate row will have an Actions dropdown menu, from which you can select one of the following options:

  • View on Map
  • View Document
  • Download PDF
  • Delete Document

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View Document

Selecting View Document in the Actions menu will take you to a sparkly new view. You'll find that the Elevation Certificate PDF you are viewing will be displayed on the right. Move your cursor over the PDF to scroll through document pages. Hovering your cursor at the top of the EC PDF will show a toolbar with the file name, the number of PDF pages, and icon options for reloading the PDF, downloading the PDF, or printing.

As many of you know, we've built an Elevation Certificate data extraction pipeline to automatically pull and structure data from your ECs for your use. The left-hand side of the view will display data that we've extracted from the EC for you. As with the PDF, hovering your cursor over this side of the view will allow you to scroll down. This section of the view will only show data that we were able to extract from the document. Data availability depends on scan quality and PDF completeness. Fields are that are not available for any given PDF are left blank. If you're looking for specific information, and it's not displayed on the left-hand side of this view, check the PDF on the right to see if it's there!

At the top of the view, you'll find a few navigation options. To return to the Elevation Certificates table, select Back to Certificates in the upper left-hand corner. To select a new action, like viewing the EC on a map, click Actions in the upper right-hand corner.

Export Shapefile and Parcel Info

We know that many of you work closely with other departments and stakeholders to better understand flood risk relative to your building stock. To better facilitate the varied work you are doing, we've added a couple of new functionalities to your Forerunner Map!

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Export Shapefile

Many of you use other GIS applications to coordinate data, write plans, and make key decisions. Forerunner can now export your Elevation Certificate data as a shapefile. To do this, click the Export Databutton at the top right corner of your map (Hint: if you have your Layers window open, you'll have to close it to reveal the button). A modal window will appear to confirm your request. Click Export .SHP to proceed. If you change your mind, click Cancel. If you proceed, you'll see a temporary green notification box appear at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen stating: Your export is being prepared. Once your export is ready, you will receive an email in your inbox titled Your Elevation Certificates shapefile is ready. The email will have a link to download your zipped EC Shapefile package. One you unzip the package, you can open the shapefile in your GIS application of choice. Each Elevation Certificate instance will contain data from its associated Elevation Certificate, which also includes a link to the EC PDF that Forerunner hosts for you.

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Parcel Information

In addition to the next export function, your `Property Info Panel has more info in it now! To navigate to it, first go to Map in the main sidebar navigation. You can pull up the Property Info Panel by searching for an address using the Address Search Bar or by clicking on an orange Elevation Certificate point. In addition to the FIRM Map Info we provide for each address, you will now also find Parcel Info. Parcel Info will give you the following parcel-level attributes:

  • Parcel ID
  • Block
  • Lot
  • Year Built

If we have the data for your community, you might also see tax assessor information including:

  • Improvement Value
  • Land Value
  • Total Parcel Value

For properties where this data is not available, the field(s) will populate with N/A.

Filter Certificates and Link to Map

We've added a couple of new features to your Certificates table. To see these changes, navigate to the Certificates section of your dashboard using the main navigation sidebar.

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Filter Certificates

If you have more than a few pages of Elevation Certificates on file, it's probably hard to keep track of them all. To make it easier to locate individual ECs in Forerunner, we've added a filtering function to the Certificates section of your dashboard. To filter your ECs, click Filter at the top right of your EC table (Hint: Filter is in line with Export and + Add New). A modal window will appear with a few filtering options. You can populate one, a few, or all of the fields depending on your search criteria. The filter function will also be able to process some partial entries, for example, if you're searching for all decimal variations of Block 11, entering "11" in the Block field will return Certificates on Blocks 11.01 and 11.01. Once you've entered your filter criteria, click Apply to be returned to the table. If you want to reset the filter, use the Discard button.

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Link to Map

You'll find that each Elevation Certificate listed in the table now also has a link labeled Map next to Delete in the far right column. We hope that this smooths your workflow by allowing you to transition direction from your Certificates table to the map without searching for an address. Clicking Map will take you directly to the address and it's property information in the Map section of your dashboard.

Navigation Redesign

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New Navigation

You may have noticed we have a slightly updated look: this week we cleaned up and condensed your main sidebar navigation! All of Forerunner's features are still available to you, they're just reorganized. Maps, Certificates, and Settings have remained the same (see our last changelog to read about the additions we made to Certificates). Tasks, Logs, and your list of Activities have been condensed into a section called CRS.

To find them, click CRS in the dark blue sidebar. By default, you'll be taken to your list of CRS tasks. Under the CRS header, you'll see two additional tabs for Logs and Activities. Click on the text to toggle between tabs.

You'll notice that the CRS guide doesn't have it's own tab. You can still find it linked through individual tasks in the Tasks tab. Just click on the orange element number to open the CRS Guide in a new browser tab. Since our CRS Guide can be a resource for all communities, we've transitioned it into a publicly accessible website. You can find it here. Create a browser bookmark for the page so that you can pull it up quickly and free to send it to friends or colleagues who could use some CRS assistance!

Add/Delete Elevation Certificates

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+ Add New Elevation Certificate

To streamline your Elevation Certificate management workflow, you can now add elevation certificates to Forerunner on your own. Added elevation certificates will be transcribed and uploaded to both your internal Forerunner dashboard and your resident website.

To add new elevation certificates, navigate to the Certificates section of your dashboard by clicking on Certificates in the dark blue sidebar. Once in Certificates, click the blue button at the top right corner of the window labeled + Add New.

A modal box will appear with instructions for uploading new certificates. You have two options for adding ECs: drag and drop files into the modal window or click to choose a file. You'll find that only PDF files can be added. If you have non-PDF files to upload, contact support for assistance. You can add up to 10 Elevation Certificates at once. If you have more than 10 ECs to upload, you'll have to add them in 10-document batches. If you have more than 100 ECs to upload, contact support to initiate a bulk upload process.

Once the ECs are added to your upload batch, they'll appear in a list in the modal box. If you've mistakenly selected a file just click Remove. Once you've added up to 10 ECs and are satisfied with your selection, click Upload Files in the bottom right hand corner of the box. This will upload the Elevation Certificates to our transcription pipeline. You will then be returned to your default Certificates page. To confirm your upload, there will be a note at the top of the window that reads Your files are currently processing. We will email you once they are complete.

After uploading your Elevation Certificates, they will be transcribed using our automated extraction pipeline. Once that process is complete, the EC will be uploaded to both Certificates, internally, and your resident-facing website, externally. You will receive an email notifying you of the update once this process is complete. If an error occurs in the uploading or transcription process, you will receive an error email with next steps.

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Delete Elevation Certificate

You might encounter a situation where an Elevation Certificate is uploaded incorrectly or you would like to replace a file. To accommodate these use cases, you can now delete an EC. To do so, navigate to the Elevation Certificate you want to delete in the Certificates section of your dashboard. Once there, click Delete in the right hand column of the Elevation Certificate you're deleting. A notification box will appear, confirming your choice. If you clicked the Delete button by accident, click Cancel to return to the previous screen. If you're ready to move forward with deletion, click Delete file.

If you delete a file, you will be returned to Certificates. A confirmation message will appear on the lower right hand corner of your screen. If your action was successful, the message will read in green: Your file was successfully deleted. If the action was unsuccessful, the message will notify you of this in a red box.

Map Additions + New Look

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Preliminary & Effective Maps

If your community has a Preliminary FIRM, chances are you are looking at it frequently as a regulatory tool, to understand potential shifts to your community's risk distribution, or to inform residents of future changes. We've added Preliminary FIRMs to our mapping feature so that you can now view both Preliminary FIRMs as well as Effective FIRMs in the same place.

For those communities that do not have an active Preliminary FIRM, only Effective FIRM information will show. Preliminary FIRM information is retrieved directly from FEMA's map service, so FIRM maps will automatically update when changes are made in FEMA's database.

You can find Preliminary FIRM information in both the Map and the Property Info Panel:

In the Map

FIRM information in the Map is now divided into two layers: Effective FIRM and Preliminary FIRM. You can toggle between these map layers using the Map Panel (more on this below). To switch between FIRM versions in the Map Panel, click the toggle button to the right of Effective FIRM or Preliminary FIRM.

In the Property Info Panel

When you search for an address in the Address Search Bar, the Property Info Panel will display. It will also display if you click on an Elevation Certificate instance in the Map. The Panel is divided into two sections: FIRM Map Info and Permits. Within the FIRM Map Info section, Preliminary FIRM and Effective FIRM information is displayed in two columns, side by side.

New Map Sub-Layers

We've also added two new sublayers to the map. Sublayers are nested within Layers. Unlike Layers, they cannot be toggled on or off — their visibility is controlled by the Layers they are nested in. New sublayers include:

  • Floodway - The Floodway sublayer depicts the Regulatory Floodway in your community. This sublayer can be used to check compliance with your community's development guidelines. It is depicted as a hatched overlay on the map.
  • LiMWA - The Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA) is defined by FEMA as "…the inland limit of the area expected to receive 1.5-foot or greater breaking waves during the 1-percent annual chance flood event." It is displayed as a black patterned line on the map.

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Map User Interface Changes

To accommodate future features and increase usability, we've made some organizational changes to the Map feature.

Map Panel

The map panel contains layer keys and visibility toggles. To locate this panel, click the map layers icon in the bottom right corner of your Map. It is positioned above the Map's zoom buttons. As noted above, FIRM zones, floodway information, and LiMWA information, are nested within FIRM layers. When either the Effective FIRM or Preliminary FIRM are toggled on, all zone, floodway, and LiMWA information will display for that FIRM version.

Address Search Bar

The Address Search Bar is now located in the top left corner of your map. To find information for a specific property, type the address in the Address Search Bar. You can either click one of the autocomplete selections or press enter once you've typed your address to display the Property Info Panel. As before, the map will zoom to the searched address and a blue location marker will be placed on the property.

Property Info Panel

The Property Info Panel can be displayed using the Address Search Bar or by clicking on an Elevation Certificate instance on the Map. Information on the Property Info Panel is divided into two sections: FIRM Map Info and Permits:

  • FIRM Map Info - If your community has both an Effective map and a Preliminary map, the FIRM Map Info section will provide data for both versions. If your community has only an Effective map and no Preliminary map, only Effective map data will be provided. A new data row has also been added to this section. BFE Depth is now provided for AO Zones. Where no data is provided by FEMA's map service, a dash (-) will appear in lieu of information.
  • Permits - If the property searched has an Elevation Certificate associated with it, it will appear under Permits. If no Certificates are available, the Permits section will read: No permits found. Elevation Certificates can also be found in the Certificates section of your app, which can be located by clicking on Certificates in the dark blue sidebar.

Base Map

Base maps are now cropped by community jurisdictional boundary so that you will only see applicable map information for your own community.

Map Elevation Certificates

Map Feature

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We've added a map to your CRS dashboard to assist you with flood information requests and elevation certificate management. To navigate to this new feature, just click Map in the dark blue sidebar.

Your map currently has four data layers that can be turned on or off using the blue toggle switch:

Flood Zones

Zones X (shaded), AE, AO, AH, A, VE, and D are contained in this map layer, differentiated by color. Where applicable, zone BFEs and/or depths are displayed on the map.

CBRS

The Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) boundaries are included, along with the 20 ft CBRS buffer zones.

Certificates

Your uploaded Elevation Certificates are now automatically displayed on the map as orange points. When zoomed out, Elevation Certificates that are either very close to one another or assigned to a single property are clustered under a larger icon displaying the number of ECs at the location. To get a closer look, either zoom in or click on the cluster for automatic zoom.

Land Information

The Land Information layer contains topographic contour lines for the map. Contour intervals are depicted directly on the contour lines in meters.

Address Details

For address-specific data, click on an EC point or use the search bar (titled Search for address) in the upper right hand corner.

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An information window will appear with the following information:

  • Address
  • Flood Zone
  • BFE
  • Datum
  • FIRM Panel
  • FIRM Effective Date
  • Initial FIRM Date
  • CBRS

If the address has one or more associated Elevation Certificates, they will appear under Elevation Certificates in the window. Listed ECs are links, clicking on them will open the associated PDF in a new tab.

The information contained in the Address Detail window is given for a geocoded point, and should not be used as an official determination.

Create New Logs and Export Logs

Create New Log

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Not all Assistance Requests will come through your Resident's Flood Information Center, so we've built a way for you to create a new log for any phone calls, walk-ins, and emails. Just click on the Create New button.

Once you've added a new log, we've also given you the ability to edit entries so that you can document information required for your CRS activities. This can also be done for any log that is created through your Resident's Flood Information Center. The fields you can edit include:

320 Map Information Services

  • Address
  • BFE
  • Flood Zone
  • Rep. Loss Area
  • FIRM Panel
  • Depth of BFE
  • Coastal A Zone or CBRS
  • Sensitive or Wetland Area

360 Flood Protection Assistance

  • On-site Visit
  • Property Protection Advice
  • Financial Advice
  • Insurance Information

For any additional notes on what you spoke about with the inquirer, you can write them down in the Notes field.

Export Logs

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In order to receive credit for 320 Map Information Services and 360 Flood Protection Assistance, you'll need to submit your logs to your ISO rep.

To do this, we've recently added the ability to export your logs. When you click on the export button, you'll then be asked to select a period for your export. We have three options:

  • Recertification - This will export all logs that were created in your last recertification cycle (1 year).
  • Verification — This option will export all logs that were created in your last verification cycle (3 or 5 years).
  • All Logs — This option will export all logs that have been created in your account.