What are flood zones?
Flood zones are certain areas identified by a federal agency called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Each flood zone describes that area in terms of the risks of flooding in that area. Contrary to certain belief, everyone lives in a flood zone—it’s merely a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.
How do I find out whether or not my property is at risk of Flood, and if so, how bad?
You could go to FEMA and fill out their risk profile or you could call us.
What is a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and how do I use it?
You may have heard the term “FIRM MAP”. Well a FIRM is a map created by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for floodplain management and insurance purposes. You can also get Digital versions of these maps; DFIRMs.
FIRMs generally show your community’s base flood elevations, flood zones, and floodplain boundaries. You can use this map to get a reliable indication of the flood zone you’re in. These maps are constantly being updated due to changes in geography, construction and mitigation activities, and meteorological events, so for a truly accurate determination, contact us or your community floodplain manager.
What is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?
Land areas that are at high risk for flooding are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), or floodplains. These areas are indicated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Basically, a home located within an SFHA has a 26 percent chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage, and will require insurance.
What is a Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA)?
A Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) is an area that is in a low-to-moderate risk flood zone (Zones B, C, X Pre- and Post-FIRM). An NSFHA is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or hard rains. Just because a structure is within a NSFHA, does not mean it is not at risk…just not high risk. Remember this; one out of four floods occurs in an NSFHA! Properties in these areas generally are less expensive to insure, and we always suggest carrying coverage even in NSFHA areas.
I live on the coast, is this different zone?
Yes. The coast has some of its own idiosyncrasies. These areas are called a V zone, and you will need to speak with an agent or FEMA about how to insure these areas since these are special risk-rating procedures for the coastal high hazard areas. Not only are the rates different, but the procedures to acquire Flood Insurance is different as well.