Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Determining the Risk
To identify a community's flood risk, FEMA conducts a Flood Insurance Study. The study includes statistical data for river flow, storm tides, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys. FEMA uses this data to create the flood hazard maps that outline your community's different flood risk areas.
Floodplains and areas subject to coastal storm surge are shown as high-risk areas or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Some parts of floodplains may experience frequent flooding while others are only affected by severe storms. However, areas directly outside of these high-risk areas may also find themselves at considerable risk.
Understanding Your Area
Changing weather patterns, erosion, and development can affect floodplain boundaries. FEMA is currently updating and modernizing the nations Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS). These digital flood hazard maps provide an official depiction of flood hazards for each community and for properties located within it.
FEMA has published almost 100,000 individual Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). See your map and learn how to read it so you can make informed decisions about protecting your property, both financially and structurally.
Zone V: SFHAs along coasts subject to inundation by the 100-year flood with the additional hazards associated with storm waves. (Zone VE is used on new and some revised maps in place of Zones V1-30.)
Zone A: SFHAs subject to inundation by the 100-year flood. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed, no base flood elevations or depths are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zones AE and A1-30: SFHAs subject to inundation by the 100-year flood determined in a Flood Insurance Study by detailed methods. Base flood elevations are shown within these zones. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. (Zone AE is used on new and some revised maps in place of Zone A1-30.)
Zone AH: SFHAs subject to inundation by the 100-year shallow flooding (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between one and three feet. Base flood elevations derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown in this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zone AO: SFHAs subject to inundation by types of 100-year shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between one and three feet. Average flood depths derived from detailed hydraulic analyses requirements apply.
Zone A99: SFHAs subject to inundation by the 100-year flood which will be protected by a federal flood protection system when construction has reached specified statutory progress toward completion. No base flood elevations or depths are shown . Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
Zones B,C, and X: These areas have been identified in the community flood insurance study as areas of moderate or minimal hazard from the principal source of flood in the area. However, buildings in these zones could be flooded by severe, concentrated rainfall coupled with inadequate local drainage systems. Local storm water drainage systems are not normally considered in the community's Flood Insurance Study. The failure of a local drainage system creates areas of high flood risk within these rate zones. Flood insurance is available in participating communities but is not required by regulation in these zones. (Zone X is used on new and some revised maps in place of Zones B and C.)
Zone D: Unstudied areas where flood hazards are undetermined but flooding is possible. No mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply, but coverage is available in participating communities.
How do you find the flood map for your address?
Under U.S. Street Names within Map Search, enter your address in the boxes provided. Be as precise as you can in entering the full address: street address, city, state or zip code. Click the "Find" button and the window should change to confirm the correct address. If you get a response that says "Unknown Street Address" check to make sure that you have entered in the information correctly and retry. Then click the "Search" button. You will be presented a list of results. The FEMA Issued Flood Maps are selected by default.
Your address may fall within an area that is unmapped or a panel that is not printed. If so the information retrieved on the results page will indicate so.
Many flood insurance related questions may be answered by visiting FloodSmart.gov. You may use the tools under the Insurance Center to determine policy coverage, estimate rates, and find an agent in your area.
For more information about this data, click on this link to FEMA.
Contact me if I can be of any assistance: Karl Hess, Keller Williams Realty Monmouth/Ocean
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