What do I need to know if my building is in the floodplain?
Buildings in special flood hazard areas shown on FIRMs may be damaged when flooding occurs. Some buildings flood frequently, while others get damaged by only the more severe events.

If your home is in the 1% annual chance floodplain, it has a 26% chance of getting flooded over a 30-year period. This means it is about five times more likely to get damaged by flood than by a severe fire.

You can usually get flood insurance by contacting your regular homeowner’s insurance agent. FEMA and others recommend that everyone in special flood hazard areas buy flood insurance. If you buy a home or refinance your home, your mortgage lender or banker may require flood insurance. Even if not required, it is a good investment, especially in areas that flood frequently or where flood forces are likely to cause major damage.

Your community may require permits for remodeling, improving, expanding or rebuilding your building. In order to reduce long-term flood damage, the NFIP requires that buildings that are substantially improved or substantially damaged become compliant. This means if the cost of the improvements or repairs is more than 50% of the market value of the building, you will have to make the new building compliant with the current code rules for floodplain construction. Usually this means elevating the foundation above the predicted flood level. If you carry a flood insurance policy and have major flood damage, you may be eligible for up to $15,000 more to help pay for the cost of this work.

Show All Answers

1. What does it mean if my community does not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?
2. What are FEMA's requirements to remove land or a building from the 1% annual chance flood hazard area?
3. What is the 100-year flood?
4. I have lived here forever and have never been flooded. Why do I need flood insurance?
5. What elevation is used when rating a structure for a flood insurance policy?
6. My family has lived in our house for many years, and we had a big flood that was called the 100-year flood. We weren't damaged. Why do I need flood insurance?
7. My bank said I'm in the floodplain and have to buy insurance. I don't believe it. What can I do?
8. Who can prepare an Elevation Certificate?
9. What do I need to know if my building is in the floodplain?
10. If I own a repetitive loss property, are there grant funds available to mitigate against future flood losses?