A floodplain, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), includes any place next to a body of water. FEMA agrees that this is a fairly broad interpretation; it does not delineate how far away”near” is and it does not admit that there are other characteristics of floodplains that aren’t easily identifiable. Knowing if a house is in a floodplain is crucial to keeping yourself and your house safe during a storm and also to properly insuring your house.
Visit FEMA’s website (see Resources) to find flood maps for your region. Enter your address in the box on the left side of the page to pull up a map of your region.
Proceed to freeflood.net and then enter your address in the search box. This website will tell you if your property is located within a 100- to 500-year floodplain and whether it is very likely to be damaged by a flood. The website warns that this advice is advisory in nature only, and should not be used to determine flood hazard determination for insurance or safety functions.
Telephone your homeowner’s insurance agent, when you have already bought the property. She will be able to counsel you about the floodplains, if any, in your area.