If you have just purchased a new home and are worried about flooding, there is a way for you to find out if you live in a flood zone. This will allow you to take steps to protect yourself in case this disaster happens to you. Below is more information about this to ensure everything is taken care of before a flood happens:
Hire a Land Surveyor
A land surveyor can help you determine if your home is in a flood zone. They do this by looking at a flood map. The surveyor gets this map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). You can also view this map as it is available on the Internet at no charge. Once the land surveyor looks at the map they can determine if your home is in a flood zone very quickly.
The surveyor can search the map by your street address. They can also zoom in to allow them to see your area much better. The map shows areas that are more likely to flood each year, as well as areas that may flood every few years. The land surveyor will know what to look for on the map, and they can explain it to you.
The map is updated constantly and when the surveyor is finished they can either order a map from FEMA or print one out on their computer.
Get a Flood Elevation Certificate
If the surveyor finds that your home is in a flood zone, you should get a flood elevation certificate. You can get this certificate from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This certificate shows the elevation of your home and how likely it is to get flooded.
Once you obtain the certificate, it must be completed and submit it to FEMA for it to go into effect. You cannot complete the certificate yourself, but instead, hire a licensed land surveyor or a licensed engineer to do this for you. Make sure you keep a copy of the certificate to have in your files.
Contact Insurance Company
You need to purchase flood insurance to protect yourself. Give the insurance company a copy of the flood elevation certificate. They will determine your rate by the flood risk on the certificate. The lower the risk the lower your premium will be. The insurance company may also use their own map looking at the flood zones and how frequently your area has flooded over the past few years.
Depending on the state that you live in, you may be required to purchase flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area.
Your insurance company will go over the different types of flood insurance they offer to their clients. This will help you find something that you can afford to pay.
Talk with a land surveying company like Crest Engineering Associates if you have any questions about this information.