This page contains information to help property owners understand floodplain management and make smart choices to protect their investments from flooding.
Property Owners: Managing Your Risk
The Risk Is Real
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. The fact that you haven’t experienced a flood in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn't based only on history; it's also based on factors such as rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures and changes due to building and development. Knowing your risk and taking action to reduce it will help you recover more quickly after a flooding event.
Know Your Risk
To reduce your flood risk, you need to know your level of risk. Flood hazard maps show different degrees of risk for your community and help determine the cost of flood insurance. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
To identify whether you are in a low-, moderate- or high-risk area, you can visit the Map Service Center and enter your address to see an online map—or visit your local floodplain administrator’s office to look at the flood hazard maps in person.
Reduce Your Risk
Once you have learned your level of flood risk, you can work with your floodplain administrator to identify how to reduce it. If you are in a high-risk zone (labeled with letters beginning with “A” or “V” on the flood map), you might consider elevating your property, installing approved flood vents or partially filling in enclosures. These actions could reduce your flood insurance premium.
Insure Your Risk
Another way to reduce flooding impacts is to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Residential coverage is available for up to $250,000 for the building/structure and $100,000 for contents, with premiums starting as low as $129 a year for residences in moderate-low risk areas (for coverage of $20,000 in building and $8,000 in contents). Commercial coverage is available for up to $500,000 for the building/structure and $500,000 for contents coverage. Included in the policy is Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, which provides up to $30,000 in costs to rebuild after a flood to a higher standard than the standard to which the original building was constructed. In addition, premium discounts (up to 45 percent) are available if your community participates in the Community Rating System. If your community does not participate, you can encourage your community leaders to join.
For more information about flood insurance or to find an insurance agent, visit FloodSmart.gov.