The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines a floodplain as a land area that is susceptible to being inundated by water from any source.
What is a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?
A FIRM is a map on which FEMA has delineated both the areas of special flood hazards and the risk premium zones applicable within the Community.
What is a BFE?
The computed elevation to which floodwater is expected to rise during the base flood. Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles. The BFI is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood proofing of structures. The relationship between the BFI and a structure's elevation determines the flood insurance premium.
How do I know if I am in a flood zone?
The FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) from msc.fema.gov (link is external) will show the most up-to-date map information to allow you to view your property and print out a copy for your lender or insurance agent, if needed. Most agents or lending facilities want to see an actual FIRM directly from FEMA's website for their records.