Looking for information on how to check if your property is in a flood zone? Look no further than Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The flood zone is a geographic area that the government delineates as having a greater chance than average of flooding.
The FEMA designated areas are produced by an evaluation of historical data and actions taken by local municipalities. If your land is unzoned and undeveloped, the FEMA map may provide the designation, but only if there has been historic flooding in that area.
FEMA’s Map Service Center has a web app that lets you find out if your property is in a flood zone. If your future home is located in the flood zone, you may be required to purchase flood insurance. Get the facts on why, who needs it and how it works.
In the web app you can search by address, latitude/longitude coordinates, place name or ZIP code.
There are many different types of flood zones – in this article we will explain the differences between the few major zones.
For example, the property market with red PIN in this picture is in the flood zone A. You can see that because it is within the flood zone market in blue.
In given case if a property is in the flood zone A, according to clovered.com, the areas in flood zone A have a 1 percent chance of flooding per year and a 25 percent chance of flooding at least once during a 30-year mortgage. Should you decide to build on this property in Flood Zone A and have a federally backed mortgage, you would be required to obtain flood insurance.
Flood Zone X is defined as an area where the risk of flooding is minimal. These areas have a less than 1-percent chance of flooding in any one year. Flood insurance is not required by law, but it may still save you money if you buy a policy. Since, according to FEMA, 25% of flood claims come from outside of known high-risk areas.
In case if your property has an address, another useful resource is the Flood Factor website. In addition, FEMA flood factor information will be displayed explaining the risk of flooding.
In addition, it doesn’t harm to have a look where your property is located relative to likely flooding areas. If you can't determine this based on your own knowledge of the property and nearby geography, you may need a survey.