How To Determine Your Home’s Flood Zone
You may have heard about the concept of flood zones. Knowing your flood zone helps you determine the chances that your home will sustain water damage. If you live in a high-risk area, you may have a tough time obtaining sufficient flood insurance. You may thus have to pay for storm cleanup and restoration services yourself.
Finding Flood Zones
There are several ways to find out whether your home is in a flood hazard area. You can:
- Download the Flood Insurance Rate Map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency website
- Use the National Flood Hazard Layer database
- Visit your Community Map Repository
The Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, shows the flood risk in South Weymouth, MA. FEMA lets you easily look up this FIRM. Simply type the city into the digital FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC), and the image should appear on your screen. You can also get a FIRM from the Community Map Repository, which can be found in your local zoning and planning office.
The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) tool, meanwhile, implements the most current flood map changes. You can search for your flood zone by county. Both the NFHL and MSC databases let you download printable versions of the flood map, as well.
Buying Flood Insurance
Just because your home is in a low-risk zone does not mean it is safe from flooding. In fact, more than 40 percent of flood insurance claims between 2014 and 2018 occurred outside of high-risk locations.
You should thus purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Keep in mind that lenders and insurance agents may set certain insurance requirements based on what they see on the flood map.
A flood map can show you whether your home is at risk for water damage during a storm. Insurers will use your flood zone and other information on the map to calculate the cost of your policy.