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What’s Your Flood Risk?

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC) is the official public source for flood hazard information produced in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Use the MSC to find your official flood map, access a range of other flood hazard products, and take advantage of tools for better understanding flood risk.

Note that not all of Utah has digital flood data. To see which of Utah’s counties are mapped or partially mapped, see Utah’s Flood Mapping History. Utah’s RiskMAP Program is actively collecting data and working with counties and communities to create, update, and digitize flood risk information. Updated maps for all of Utah’s populated areas will eventually become digital.  In the meantime, scans of paper maps are also available through the Map Service Center.

Flood Zone Designations

Flood zones are geographic areas that the FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area. Note that the term Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) refers only to zones beginning with the letter A or V.

ZONE*DESCRIPTION
A
Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas; no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
AE
The base floodplain where base flood elevations are provided. AE Zones are now used on new format FIRMs instead of A1‐A30 Zones.
A1-30
These are known as numbered A Zones (e.g., A7 or A14). This is the base floodplain where the FIRM shows a BFE (old format).
AHAreas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.
AORiver or stream flood hazard areas, and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.
ARAreas with a temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control system (such as a levee or a dam). Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements will apply, but rates will not exceed the rates for unnumbered A zones if the structure is built or restored in compliance with Zone AR floodplain management regulations.
A99Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a Federal flood control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
* In some older maps, all of these zones were designated simply as an A Zone.

Is My Property Currently

in a Flood Zone?

The National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) Viewer is accessible through the Map Service Center. The NFHL Viewer allows you to easily access a repository of current flood risk data for most populated areas of the country.  Use it to see information for a specific location or address. You can also save or download a map of your area of interest.

Note that not all of Utah has digital flood data. To see which of Utah’s counties are mapped or partially mapped, see Fact Sheet “Flood Maps in Utah”. Utah’s RiskMAP is actively collecting data and working with counties and communities to create, update, and digitize flood risk information. Updated maps for all of Utah’s populated areas will eventually become digital. 

What is a Special Flood Hazard Zone? What does it mean if you live in one? How often should you expect a flood?


Where Can I View Potential Changes in Flood Zones?

Flood hazards are dynamic and can change frequently because of a variety of factors, including weather patterns, erosion, and new development.  Mapping capabilities also change. Currently the State of Utah is taking advantage of higher resolution elevation data and advanced hydrologic modeling techniques to improve our ability to identify flood risk more accurately.  The process for making new maps or changes in effective flood maps can take years.    But once this change takes place, the building or insurance requirements of properties are often affected. Therefore it is often helpful to see what is taking place before the effective map is released.

FEMA’s Flood Map Changes Viewer (FMCV) is an online tool that simplifies access to multiple flood hazard datasets, providing a comprehensive view of proposed flood hazard map updates.  You can view these changes in an online map, save them to a file, or print them.