This is a good time to find out if your home is in a flood hazard area. Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are available for most communities in Vermont. These maps identify areas with more than a 1% chance of flooding each year. Over the period of a thirty year mortgage a home in the high risk Special Flood Hazard Area will have a more than a one-in-four chance of experiencing a flood. Flood insurance is required for mortgages in the Special Flood Hazard Area (shown as Zone A or AE on the map). In lower flood risk areas (Zone C or X on the map) insurance is not required and the cost of insuring against flooding is also lower.
The Flood Insurance Rate Maps are prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The maps can be viewed at your town office but you can also find them online at the FEMA Map Service Center.
For some parts of Vermont (Chittenden, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties; and seven other towns) there are new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs). You can view the DFIRMs at the FEMA Map Service Center or at the Vermont Natural Resources Atlas. Type in your address and you should be able to find your building right on the aerial photo. There is also preliminary DFIRMs posted on the Atlas for Bennington County and the Town of Richmond. Preliminary data is not official yet and may change.
For more information visit the Vermont Flood Hazard Management website or contact the
If you have questions about flood insurance talk to the agent that handles your homeowner’s policy or visit www.Floodsmart.gov.