Key Terms and Definitions

Created by Cydni McArdle, Modified on Wed, 23 Mar 2022 at 10:15 AM by Cydni McArdle

Adequate Flood Openings: A minimum of two openings, positioned on at least two walls, designed to allow for the entry and exit of floodwaters.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE): Shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood.

Basement: Any area of the building, including any sunken room or sunken portion of a room, having its floor below ground level (subgrade) on all sides.

Biggert — Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: The goal of the Reform Act is to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, while imposing substantial program reform. Under the new law insurance rates are calculated to reflect factual rates based on the flood risk.

Building: A structure with two or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site. Building does not mean a gas or liquid storage tank or a recreational vehicle, park trailer or other similar vehicle.

Crawlspace: An under-floor space that has its interior floor area (finished or not) no more than five feet below the top of the next-higher floor.

Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA): An area in a low to moderate risk flood zone (Zones B, C, X) that is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or hard rains. However, it's important to note that structures within a NSFHA are still at risk and usually qualify for a preferred risk policy rating.

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA): A FEMA-identified high-risk flood area where flood insurance is mandatory for properties. These are the A and V zones.

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