Frequently Asked Questions



What is a Floodplain?

Floodplains areas of land that are susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.


What are the functions or benefits of a Floodplain?

Floodplains that are relatively undisturbed provide the following functions

·         Natural flood storage and erosion control

·         Water quality maintenance

·         Groundwater recharge

·         They provide habitat for flora and fauna and support good ecosystem.

·         An excellent resource for agricultural aquacultural and forest production.

·         Wetlands

·         Recreational  opportunities.


What is a Base Flood Elevation(BFE), and how do I find the BFE for my property?

This is the computed elevation to which flood waters are anticipated to rise during a 100-year (1-percent-annual-chance) flood event. BFEs are shown on maps in areas where a detailed study has been completed and are usually written to the nearest whole foot numbers on top of black straight or wavy lines that bisects the floodplain or  in parentheses underneath the zone label.


What is my Flood Risk?

You can determine your flood zone status and risk by visiting here


What is a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?

A FIRM is a map created by the NFIP for floodplain management and insurance purposes. Digital versions are called DFIRMs.


Where can I fine additional information about the maps that were used to determine my relative flood risk level

FEMA publishes maps for community’s flood hazard areas and the degree of risk in those areas. Roads and Drainage Flood Management office is the local repository for DeKalb County where the Flood Insurance Rate Maps are kept on file. You may also use this link to assess the FIRM for your area.


Does my homeowners’ insurance policy cover flooding?

No. Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policy. You need to talk to your insurance agent for flood insurance that will cover both your property and its content in order to protect yourself against risk.


How many structures (and their contents) may be insured on each Flood Insurance Policy?

Only one building (and its contents) can be insured on each Flood Insurance policy.

How can I purchase a Flood Insurance policy?

Contact your insurance agent on how to purchase a flood insurance. You may also visit here to find a flood insurance agent near you from one of the menus on the left hand side of the page


Why am I being required to buy a flood insurance?

Purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas.

Although, federal law does not require flood insurance for properties in moderate-to-low risk area, a lender may still require it and it is recommended that you always protect yourself and your investment.


Why do I need flood insurance when my area has never been flooded?

Flooding occurs both in high-risk areas as well as in moderate-to-low risk areas. Sometimes, poor drainage systems, flash flooding, rapid accumulation of snowmelt, and broken water main can result in flood. It is therefore, important that you purchase  flood insurance to protect you against risk even if there is no history of flooding in your area.


What is the Preferred Risk Policy (PRP)?

The Preferred Risk Policy offers multiple coverage combinations for both buildings and contents (or contents-only, for renters) that are located in moderate-to-low risk areas (B, C, and X Zones). Preferred Risk Policies are available for residential or non-residential buildings also located in these zones, and that meet eligibility requirements based on the building’s entire flood loss history.


Is there a waiting period for my policy to take effect?

Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your flood insurance policy goes into effect.


What is Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage?

Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage is one of several resources for flood insurance policyholders who need additional help rebuilding after a flood loss and the property declared to be substantially damaged. It provides up to $30,000 to help cover the cost of mitigation measures that will reduce flood risk and bring the property into compliance with State or Community floodplain management laws or ordinances. For ICC Fact Sheet, click here