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Flood Education

Definitions & Info

Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S., with losses of more than a billion dollars annually! Did you know the average flood loss costs approximately $48,000? Many people are unaware that a homeowners policy DOES NOT provide coverage for flood related damage. For this reason, you should consider a separate flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. Regardless of the level of flood risk your home is prone to, a flood policy provides valuable protection... FOR YOU!

What is Flood?

Flooding is an overflow of water that submerges land that is normally dry. Flooding can mean a few inches of water or many feet of water (covering the rooftops of houses).

The definition of a flood from the National Flood Insurance Program is a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  • Mudflow; or
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.


Surface Water

Water collected on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, wetland, or ocean.

Mud Flow

A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water. Other earth movements, such as landslide, slope failure, or a saturated soil mass moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows.

Sewer Back-up

Sewage from sanitary sewer lines that backs up into houses through drain pipes.

Flood Zone

Describes that land area in terms of its risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone. It's just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.

Special Flood Hazard Area

Area that National Flood Insurance Program has classified as being expected to experience flooding at least once in 100 years.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Federal program created by Congress to mitigate future flood losses nationwide through sound, community-enforced building and zoning ordinances and to provide access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance protection for property owners.

Flood Hazard Boundary Map

A temporary map designed to identify flood-prone areas in the community.

Emergency Program

Initial phase of a community's participation in the National Flood Insurance Program in which property owners in flood areas can purchase a limited amount of insurance at subsidized rates.

Regular Program

Second phase of the National Flood Insurance Program in which the community agrees to adopt flood-control and land-use restrictions and in which property owners purchase higher amounts of flood insurance than under the emergency program.

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

A map that shows exact boundaries for special flood hazard areas, the various flood zones, and base flood elevations.

Flood Watch

Flooding is possible.

Flash Flood Watch

Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground.

Flood Warning

Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.