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4 Things You Need to Know About Flood Zones

Flood zones help you understand your risk of flooding. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. There are five different types of flood zones and many steps that can be taken to protect yourself from floods and flooding.

If your claim has been declined or delayed or the amount does not reflect the damages, our Florida flood damage lawyers can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Keep reading to learn more about flood zones and how to protect your home.

What Defines Flooding?

When water flows over normally dry land, it’s called flooding. Flooding can occur when heavy rain falls over a short period or when melting snow or ice causes water to overflow its banks. Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States, and it can cause a lot of damage to property and infrastructure. 

Storms, hurricanes, or other weather events can cause flooding. If your home is located in an area prone to flooding, called a flood zone, it’s important to take precautions against this potential threat so you know what to do if disaster strikes.

What Are Flood Zones?

Flood zones are designated areas that show how likely your home is to flood or experience flooding. Flood zones are a way of showing the likelihood of flooding in an area, and they help you understand your risk of flooding.

Flood maps are one tool that communities use to know which areas have the highest risk of flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains and updates data through flood maps and risk assessments.

​​It’s important to know whether your home is in a flood zone because it can help you prepare for weather events like hurricanes and tropical storms, which can cause storm surges and heavy rain that leads to flooding. FEMA also uses flood zones to determine eligibility for certain types of assistance after major disasters like floods or earthquakes.

How Do the Zones Work?

There are five different types of flood zones:

  • Zone A – Most Vulnerable to Flooding, Highest Risk
  • Zone B – Moderate Risk
  • Zone C – Low Risk
  • Zone D – Very Low Risk, Lower than Base Flood Elevation for the Area and/or Not in Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Zone E – Lower than Base Flood Elevation for the Area and/or Not in SFHA

To protect your property from flood damage, make sure you have an understanding of what level of flooding your area might experience.

Sandbags Outside Front Door Of Flooded House

Flood Insurance

If you live in a designated flood zone, you may be required to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate to low-risk areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. 

While homeowners insurance tends to cover water damage, it does not cover damage from flooding. You’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is run by FEMA and available through your insurance agent.

It’s important for everyone who lives near water or in an area prone to flooding, even those who don’t think their property might be damaged, to have some form of flood protection.

Construction Limits

There are construction limitations applied to flood zones that homeowners need to be aware of. When building in any flood zone, buildings must be elevated above the base flood elevation (BFE). The BFE is a flood level reference height for building elevations and flood insurance.  A building below BFE is a building below the flood level for that site. Building codes usually require one extra foot of elevation, known as the Design Flood Elevation (DFE).

There are different construction requirements for each flood zone. For instance, Zone A is the most vulnerable to flooding, and therefore new construction and substantial renovations are required to have the First Finished Floor at a minimum height of Base Flood Elevation (BFE) Plus one foot.

Knowing what construction limits apply to your flood zone is important if you’re looking to do renovations or extend your existing property.

Speak to the Experts

Flooding is one of the most disastrous occurrences in the country so having the knowledge of flood zones and the level of risk you’re exposed to is essential. Follow any building requirements in place for any renovations and building expansions to avoid having issues when claiming for possible flood damage.

Remember to also purchase flood insurance to safeguard your property during your time of need. If you’re unsure about the type of insurance you might need, consider hiring a flood damage lawyer.

By seeking a flood damage lawyer to help you file or defend your claim, you not only free yourself from the burden but enjoy an array of other benefits. Here at Klotzman Property Damage Law, we advocate for fair compensation so you can properly restore and repair any damage.

Schedule your free case review today with a Hollywood property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.