A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) can be an invaluable asset when looking for information regarding the location of flood zones. These maps depict and show where the water sources in a community are located, along with where it is projected that the water will go in the event of a flood. They are fairly easy to read, assuming that you are familiar with their shading system. Here’s what the shading means.

  1. Not shaded/white area. This area is labeled “Zone X”. This area is defined as being the 500 year flood plain.
  2. Lightly shaded. This area is labeled “Zone X shaded”. This area is defined as being between the 100 and 500 year flood plains.
  3. Shaded. This area is typically labeled “Zone AE” or “Zone A” for non-coastal areas. This area is defined as being in the 100 year flood plain.

If your property is located in the shaded area (AE), your lender may require you to carry flood insurance. You should consider enlisting the help of a Professional Land Surveyor who can provide an elevation certificate on your lot to verify that your home is located below the base flood elevation and that insurance is necessary.

Click here to read more about flood elevation certificates http://bit.ly/1Aryv5D.