Flood Zone Facts to Understand FEMA Determination

Has your institution determined that you are in a flood zone? Did you receive a letter from FEMA that provided you with new information about your property when it comes to flood zone determination? As a certified floodplain manager, we provide true floodplain determination through vertical measurement. A professional surveyor skilled in floodplain management is the only way to truly calculate floodplain determination. Like most people, you want to question any vague determinations from FEMA or your lender. Before making a rash judgment regarding any recent determinations from your lending institution or FEMA, let’s go over the basic of flood zone determination.

What is a Flood Zone?

Essentially, we all live in a flood zone because anywhere it can rain, we run the risk of flooding. However, there are different levels of flooding risk when it comes to dealing with flood insurance. So, in this case, is your property or structure in a high-risk area for flooding? A high-risk flood zone is identified by a Flood Insurance Rate Map or a FIRM from FEMA. A FIRM will define a Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA, as an area that will be inundated by the flood event. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas are labeled Zone B or Zone X and show up on a FIRM. The areas outside the flood zone are labeled Zone C or Zone X.

Most homes are located outside of the SFHA. But, more homeowners are getting letters in the mail from FEMA or their lender that says they have been deemed within the 100-year zone, or within a flood zone. This means you will be forced to pay flood insurance. It is important to understand that the flood zone maps are approximate. Therefore, the only way to truly determine whether your flood insurance cost should increase is to hire a professional flood insurance specialist to provide a flood elevation of your land.

Why is an Elevation Certificate Needed?

An elevation certificate is a document used by the National Flood Insurance Program to certify that the elevation of your structure is located near a 100-year flood zone, or it is not. When writing a flood insurance policy, an elevation certificate is usually needed. If it is not required, a flood elevation certificate can reduce the rates of your flood zone insurance premium. A flood elevation certificate indicates flood elevations, the type of building you own, and the elevation of all the mechanicals that service your building.

Although you might have received a letter from FEMA or your lending institution stating that it has been determined you are in a flood zone, it is important to talk to a flood zone specialist. While it might be frustrating to receive a document stating you are in a flood zone, only a professional surveyor is skilled in floodplain management. Talk to a flood zone specialist about your flood determination.

At Flood Zone Specialists, we are a team of experienced flood zone experts, trained, Certified Flood Plain Manager and Professional Flood Plain Surveyors. Our desire is to provide home and business owners with expert consultation regarding flood zones and flood insurance. If you need to a floodplain determination contact our professionals today at 877.863.3069.

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