A Guide to FEMA Flood Zone Designations
The information below will give you an overview of flood hazard zones. These are based on data from 2019 and we strongly recommend you contact us or seek other qualified professional services before making any coverage decisions.
Zones B and X (shaded)
These flood zones are usually within an area that could be affected by 100 and 500 year floodplains, so there is statistically a 0.2% to 1.0% chance of flooding each year. B zones have a lower chance of flooding because there is typically some protection from leeves or is only a chance of shallow flooding where the water would typically be less than one foot deep.
Zones C and X(unshaded)
These areas have a minimal flooding risk and are typically shown being above the 500 year flood level. Zone C may have ponding and local drainage issues that do not justify a full detailed study or have enough reason to be designated as a higher risk flood area. Zone X is an area that is either protected from flooding by a levee or they are outside of a 500 year floodplain.
Over the life of a 30 year mortgage a property in Zone A will statistically have a 1% to 26% chance of flooding. Detailed analysis has not been completed in these areas so there is no estimated depth or base flood elevations available for this zone.
This is a more common flood zone where a base flood elevations have been provided and elevation certificates can be benefical. The format is now being used as a replacement for the A1-A30 Zones.
Commonly known as numbered A zones, these are the base floodplains where the maps would show the base flood elevations. Examples would include Zones A7 and A14.
This zone has a 1% annual statistical chance of shallow flooding and ususally will be in the form of a pont with an average depth of 1 to 3 feet. There is an estimated 26% chance of these areas flooding during the life of a 30 year mortgage. Certain intervals within these zones have had detailed analysis to show base flood elevations.
Areas in the AO zone are areas that either around rivers and streams or have a 1% or greater chance of some shallow flooding each year. Typically the flooding would occur in a sheet flow and the depts could range between 1 and 3 feet. There is a 26% statistical chance that properties within this zone will flood over thirty years.
The AR zones will be found when work is being done in the area to build or restore a flood control system such as a levee or a dam. As long as a structure is built or restored in compliance with the Zone AR floodplain management regulations the rates for the insurance will not exceed the rates of unnumberd A zones.
No depth or base flood elevations are shown within these zones and they are protected by a federal flood contorl system where construction has reached certain legal requirements. In these areas there is a 1% annual chance of flooding.
V or velocity zones are in coastal areas that have a 1% or greater change of flooding and they have additional risk due to storm wavers or surge. There are no base flood elevations in theses areas and there is statistically a 26% chance of properties within this zone flooding during a 30 year period.
Zones VE, V1-30
These are also velocity zones that have a 1% or greater chance of flooding each year and also have the risk of storm waves and surge. In these areas base flood elevation figures are availalble since there have been detailed analyses in selected intervals within these zones.
Zone D is assigned where flood zones are not determined but there still may be a possibility of flooding. In these areas the insurance rates will reflect the fact that there is a lot of unknown risk.