Proving You are Not in a Flood Zone

Proving You are Not in a Flood Zone

Nobody wants to live in a flood zone. Even if you never have a flood, you have to buy flood insurance. It can also make it harder to sell your house and it will probably sell for less.

Every community has a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), an official map of all of the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), the Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

Surveying the flood elevation
Measuring Flood Elevation

Our log cabin is on a higher spot surrounded by flood plain. This was already documented when I bought the cabin. The original map showed the whole area as a flood zone, but the previous owners proved that the cabin and the area around it is higher.

If your land is above flood level, but the map doesn’t show it, you can get a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). You just present documentation to prove it and apply to FEMA.

Below is the relevant part of documentation we have.

Flood Insurance Rate Map Amendments

The LOMRs and LOMAs listed below have not been reflected on the final FIRM. This is either due to scale limitations of the FIRM, or because the LOMR or LOMA issued determined that the lots or structures involved are out of the Special Flood Hazard Area, as shown on the FIRM. These LOMRs and LOMAs will be revalidated free of charge the day after the revised map panels become effective.

Ours is the first one there, Lot 321 Druid Hills on flood map panel 9569.

FEMA gives you a case number. Ours is 06-04-0293A. The Final Soma lists the update by lot number and address. That’s a good thing because 911 readdressed our house, but the lot number is the same.

Our New Zone is X. Which means not in a flood zone. It means our house is outside of the area that is shaded on the map. We are in an area of minimal flood hazard, outside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Any areas higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood are labeled Zone C or Zone X.

Zone X means you are not in the flood zone. You are at a low risk of having your house flood. You don’t have to buy flood insurance unless you want to. And people won’t be afraid to buy your house.

Here are the documents:

Henderson County Final Soma, Abbreviated
Henderson County Final Soma, Complete