Flood Zones

Flood Zones are the land area that could be covered by the floodwaters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has placed more than 20,000 communities in the United States into a category of flood zones.

High Risk Flood Zones

In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. They are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with the letters A or V.

Moderate to Low Risk Flood Zones

In moderate-to-low risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate-to-low areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. They are shown on flood maps as zones labeled with the letters B, C or X (or a shaded X).

Undetermined Flood Zones

No flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are labeled with the letter D on the flood maps.

KS Flood Map

FEMA Flood Zone Designations

To indicate the risks in different parts of the country, FEMA has assigned a character from the alphabet to each zone.

Flood Zone A

Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event generally determined using approximate methodologies. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed, no Base Flood Elevations or flood depths are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone AE, A1-30

Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual chance-flood event determined by detailed methods. Base Flood Elevations are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone AH

Areas subject to inundation by 1-percent-annual-chance shallow flooding (usually areas of ponding) where average depths are between one and three feet. Base Flood Elevations derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown in this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone AO

Areas subject to inundation by 1-percent-annual-chance shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) where average depths are between one and three feet. Average flood depths derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown in this zone. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone AR

Areas that result from the decertification of a previously accredited flood protection system that is determined to be in the process of being restored to provide base flood protection. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone A99

Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event, but which will ultimately be protected upon completion of an under-construction Federal flood protection system. These are areas of special flood hazard where enough progress has been made on the construction of a protection system, such as dikes, dams, and levees, to consider it complete for insurance rating purposes. Zone A99 may only be used when the flood protection system has reached specified statutory progress toward completion. No Base Flood Elevations or depths are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone V

Areas along coasts subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event with additional hazards associated with storm-induced waves. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed, no Base Flood Elevations or flood depths are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

Flood Zone VE, V1-30

Areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action. Base Flood Elevations  derived from detailed hydraulic analyses are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements and floodplain management standards apply.

 

Zones outside the SFHA

Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM but are not considered part of the Special Flood Hazard Area. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded).

Zone X (shaded), B (moderate-risk zones)

An area of moderate flood hazard that is determined to be outside the Special Flood Hazard Area between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood.

Zone X (unshaded), C (low-risk zones)

An area of minimal flood hazard that is determined to be outside the Special Flood Hazard Area and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood.