FEMA uses several different codes to indicate the flood risk on the FIRM maps. For most properties in the City of Columbia, the codes are:
This is a high risk area. According to FEMA, these properties have a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a typical 30 year mortgage. Property covered by a federally backed loan in these areas is required to have flood insurance.
Flood insurance premiums in these areas are typically dependent on how high the finished structure is above Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and other factors. For details on how FEMA determines rates, visit Floodsmart Understanding the Basics for Residential Properties or Commercial Properties.
Property owners who believe their lowest finished floor is above BFE in these areas are encouraged to get an Elevation Certificate for the property. Insured property built above BFE may qualify for significantly reduced rates. Property without an Elevation Certificate is assumed to be at or below BFE and is typically charged the maximum rate for the level of coverage.
These areas have moderate to low risk of flooding. However, flooding is still possible in these areas!
In fact, FEMA reports that over 20% of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims came from properties in these areas, and these properties typically receive 1/3 of disaster assistance.
Flood insurance is recommended for these areas! Property owners pay much reduced premiums for flood insurance and may even qualify for lowered Preferred Risk Policy rates.
FEMA does not have flood hazard information available for these areas. Flood insurance premiums are typically charged at the maximum rate for the level of coverage.
To find out more about FEMA's flood risk codes, visit Floodsmart: Defining Flood Risk.
FEMA has online FIRMs available for most properties in the City of Columbia. Visit the FEMA Map Service Center and search for your property's flood risk by address.
FEMA is in the process of revising the 2010 FIRMs for portions of the City of Columbia. You can compare the current 2010 FIRMs with the proposed 2016 FIRMs by following these steps:
1136 Washington St.
Columbia, SC 29201