What is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?

The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is defined by FEMA as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year (sometimes called the “100-year” flood). Flood-hazard maps or flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) have been created by FEMA to show the flooding risk for your community, which help determine the cost of flood insurance. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium. Properties in the SFHA may be subject to the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A good source of flood information is the Homeowner FAQs. You can also contact the Land Development Division of the Department of Public Works for FEMA flood zone information. They can be reached by phone at 415-473-3755, by email, or in person in Room 308 at the Marin County Civic Center.

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