How To Determine If Your Property Is In a Flood Zone

Flood zones are areas that are at risk of flooding. There are over a dozen flood zone classifications. They are based on the estimated frequency of storms that will cause flooding in an area. So you don't need to live by a large river or the Gulf of Mexico to be at risk. But most high-risk flood zones are near a body of water.

FEMA is the agency that determines the flood zones. So the best place to start is with FEMA's Map Service Center. Go to the FEMA website. Simply enter a property's address, and a map showing its flood zone hazard will pop up. Zones B, X, and C are the lowest risk, while high-risk zones start with either an A or a V (V zones are coastal areas). Zone AE, for example, has a 1% probability of flooding every year, also known as a 100-year flood plain.

Keep in mind when looking at the map that it's possible that only part your lot may be in the flood zone.

Other resources that you can look into include tax record databases and title searches; both will indicate a property's flood risk. You can also ask your insurance agent.

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