ITHACA, N.Y.—The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Tompkins County community officials are holding two Flood Risk and Insurance Open Houses this week.  

The first will be held on Wednesday, April 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ithaca High School at 1401 North Cayuga St., in the cafeteria. 

The second is taking place the next day on Thursday, April 27 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Tompkins County Whole Health Building located at 55 Brown Rd. 

Residents can attend either event at any time between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and appointments are not necessary. Community members are able to talk one-on-one with FEMA representatives to learn more about their individual flood risk and to get information about potential flood insurance changes to flood insurance rates and requirements.

Tompkins County officials are asking individuals with existing flood insurance to bring their declaration page so that FEMA experts can provide personal guidance. Residents can also see PDFs of preliminary versions of the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report and the FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Map) here and view them digitally at FEMA’s FIRM Viewer of Tompkins County.

For the first time, some properties may be included in a high-risk flood zone, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area, due to changes in FEMA’s FIRM for the county. This may lead to those affected property owners being required to buy flood insurance, according to a statement from Tompkins County officials. 

To request a reasonable accommodation such as sign language and real-time captioning, please email, or call FEMA’s Civil Rights Resource Line at (833) 285-7448. 

For specific questions about the Open House’s, reach out to Lisa Blake, FEMA’s outreach lead, at

Judy Lucas is a General Assignment Reporter for The Ithaca Voice. Have a story idea? Comment or question? You can reach me at or on Twitter @judy__lucas.