FEMA is updating Virginia Beach’s
Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
Residents are encouraged to review the
maps and submit their comments or appeals between February 5 and May 5, 2014. An appeal is a formal objection to any proposed base flood elevations or
flood depths. Appeals must be based on technical data that show proposed
maps to be scientifically incorrect. Anyone who makes an appeal must include
the method, data and analysis used to support the claim.
A comment is an
objection to a base map feature change, such as labels, incorrect roads,
jurisdictional boundaries or any other non-appealable change.
Comments and appeals should be sent to FEMA through the local floodplain
administrator, Rebecca Lear, Certified Floodplain Manager, at email@example.com, or at (757) 385-1948.
How to View Your Flood Zone
FEMA has provided this
that allows you to see your current and new preliminary flood hazard zone.
To see your maps, open this
link, and follow the
steps below. Tips to help you read the maps are after the steps.
Read the disclaimer and click “I Agree.”
In the lower right corner, look for the box titled “Find an address.”
Enter your address (include your city, state and zip) in the space provided and click on “locate.”
A blue box will appear on the map with a round circle over your address.
Click on “zoom to” in the blue box, and after it zooms, click “zoom to” again.
A box appears that is titled “Reporting Mode On.” Click
A blue box appears on the left titled “Investigator” You can ignore this.
Put your mouse over the main building on the property on the map and click. Two maps will appear.
The map on the left shows your current flood hazard zone. The map on the right is the new preliminary flood hazard zone.
If you want to search another address, the easiest way is to refresh the page or open the website again in a new tab or window.
After you complete the steps, this
shows you how to read the map.
What does the map mean?
Both maps have no shaded color on the parcel: You are not in a flood zone and will not be when the new maps
are adopted. This does not mean that you will never flood, only that you are at a low risk for flooding.
The map on the left is not shaded but the one on the right is shaded: You are not currently in a flood zone
but will be when the new maps are adopted.
The map on the left is shaded and the map on the right is not shaded:
You are currently in a flood zone but
will not be when the new maps are adopted. This does not mean that you
will never flood, only that you are at a low risk for flooding.
Both maps have shaded colors on the parcel: You are in a flood zone and will still be when the new maps are
Understanding Your Flood Zone
flood zones depicted on a community’s FIRM are geographic areas that
the FEMA has defined according to varying
levels of flood risk. Each zone reflects the severity or type of
flooding an area is expected to experience during a 1% annual chance
flood (also known as a 100-year storm).
The City recommends all property owners in Virginia Beach consider purchasing flood insurance. Just because
an area has not experienced a flood in the past, does not mean it will not flood in the future.
Moderate to Low Risk Areas
insurance is not required for properties in these areas; however, flood
insurance is available to all property owners and renters in these
X (shaded) Zone: Area of moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year
X (unshaded) Zone: Area of minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year flood level.
High Risk Areas
insurance is required for properties in these areas with a home or
building with a mortgage from a federal regulated or insured lender.
These areas have a 1% percent annual chance of flooding and a 26 percent chance of
flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage:
- A Zone (Approximated floodplain): Detailed
analyses have not been performed on these areas; therefore, no base flood
elevations are shown.
- AE Zone: Base flood elevations have been
developed using detailed analyses.
- AH Zone: Areas of shallow flooding. Flooding
is usually in the form of ponding with average depths between one and three
feet. Base flood elevations have been developed using detailed analyses.
- AO Zone: Areas subject to flooding in the form
of sheet flow with average depths between one and three feet. Average flood
depths are shown as developed from detailed analyses.
- VE Zone: Areas along coasts subject to waves
greater than 3 feet. Base flood elevations have been developed using detailed
For additional information, you may visit this website,
or contact Rebecca Lear
, CFM in
Public Works Engineering
at (757) 385-4131
The following are resources you can use for more
- FEMA National Flood Insurance Program -
detailed information for property owners, claims adjusters, insurance
professionals, lenders, state and local officials, and surveyors.
Letters of Map Change
If a property owner thinks their property has been
inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), they may submit a
request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). A SFHA is defined as the
area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1 percent chance of
being equaled or exceeded in any given year. A LOMC reflects an official
revision/amendment to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map. If the LOMC
request is granted, property owners may be eligible for lower flood insurance
premiums, or the option to not purchase flood insurance. Only FEMA can change the
Property owners may also wish to contact the FEMA Map Information exchange (FMIX), toll free at 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627) for
assistance with the LOMC process. Interested applicants can apply for LOMCs
online. Click here for details.