The Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) develops Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to show
areas in a community prone 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). Virginia Beach received
new maps from FEMA in 2014. Please click here to view your FIRM and for
instructions on how to determine your Flood Zone.
Understanding Your Flood Risk
Moderate to Low Risk Areas
Flood insurance is not required for properties in these areas; however,
flood insurance is available to all property owners and renters in these zones. The City recommends all property owners consider purchasing
flood insurance. Just because an area has not experienced flooding in the past,
does not mean it will not flood in the future.
- X (shaded) Zone: Area of
moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100-year
and 500-year floods.
- X (unshaded) Zone: Area of
minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year
High Risk Areas
Flood insurance is required for properties in these areas with a home or
building with a mortgage from a federally 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:
Zone (Approximated floodplain): Detailed analyses have not
been performed on these areas; therefore, no base flood elevations are
Zone: Base flood elevations have been developed using
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.
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.
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 the FEMA Region III website, or contact Rebecca Lear,
CFM in Public Works Engineering at
(757) 385-4131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 maps.
Property owners may also wish to
contact the FEMA Map Information Exchange, 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.