Emergency Guide


Click the link below to access a comprehensive publication about flood hazard areas, flood safety, insurance information, and property protection tips:

Click below for the lattest 100-year floodplain maps for the city of Dearborn Heights. These maps are helpful in determining if your property is located in a floodplain:

For real time water levels and other helpful information about the Middle Rouge (North Dearborn Heights) and Ecorse Creek (South Dearborn Heights), click on the appropriate link below:

To determine the Lowest Adjacent Grade or Base Flood Elevation for a parcel in Dearborn Heights, click here:


Certain lands in the City of Dearborn Heights adjacent to the Rouge and Ecorse Creek have been identified as special floodplain areas. A floodplain area is that portion of land subject to inundation by a flood and/or flood-related erosion hazards.

Maps showing the Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are available in the Building and Engineering Department of the Dearborn Heights City Hall (6045 Fenton) the Caroline Kennedy Library (24590 George), or the John F. Kennedy Jr. Library (24602 Van Born, and from the FEMA Flood Map Store on the FEMA website. The Building and Engineering Department staff can assist you in determining whether your property is located in one of the floodplain areas. They can also help you with questions and forms necessary to request that FEMA remove your property from the floodplain area. To obtain flood hazard (floodplain) information, call 313-791-3470.

Building permits are required for remodeling projects, repairs, replacements, new structures, additions, re-roofing, decks, driveways, sheds, pools and fences. A building permit must be obtained from the Building and Engineering Department before beginning any construction. Some of these activities may not be permitted or may be restricted in scope if they will be located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Other activities that may not normally require a permit such as grading or filling might be prohibited or restricted if they will take place within the SFHA. A permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and a Soil Erosion Sedimentation Control (SESC) permit from the Building Department must be issued before grading and filling activities will be allowed within the SFHA. Call the Building Department at 313-791-3470 for specific requirements related to your project.If an existing structure is located within a SFHA, there are restrictions as to how much the structure can be improved or reconstructed if damaged by fire or other means. This work is classified as a Substantial Improvement and the cost of any repair, reconstruction or improvement to the structure located in a SFHA is limited to 50% of the market value of the structure before the repair or improvements are begun and are counted cumulatively for a ten-year period beginning at the start of the first improvement. This is to assure that the flood insurance liability of a property that has been identified as prone to flooding does not increase substantially.

There are several ways to protect your home from flood damage. The Planning and Building Departments can assist you in identifying methods that might be appropriate for your property. There are also external websites that serve as excellent guides in assisting you in identifying your specific flooding problem and what methods are available for protection. Check the "More Websites" section at the bottom of this page.

Property owners in flood hazard areas are often unaware of the risk of floods and do not carry adequate flood protection insurance to cover potential losses. If you don't have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner's policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because the City of Dearborn Heights participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The insurance is backed by the federal government and is available to everyone, even if your property has flooded before or is not indicated as being in a Special Flood Hazard Area. For more information, click on the "National Flood Insurance Program" link below.

Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters, except fire. Most communities in the United States can experience some kind of flooding after spring rain, heavy thunderstorms or winter snow melts. Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes. For a list of areas that have experienced (or are experiencing) flood threats, check the following FEMA website:


More websites on flood-related preparedness and safety:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA Information on Floods and Flash Floods

National Flood Insurance Program

National Weather Service

State of Michigan

Flooded Basement Information - Wayne County Department of Public Health

American Red Cross


City of Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Office of Emergency Management