What is a Special Flood Hazard Area?

A Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is an area as determined by FEMA on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map which has a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. SFHAs may also be referred to as the 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain, base floodplain, or the 100-year floodplain. Properties located within an SFHA generally require a mandatory purchase of flood insurance. An SFHA designation is not based on a property’s individual elevation but rather on statistical analyses, floodplain topographic surveys and other information regarding an entire area. As a result, there is a margin of error and some properties, though considered to be in an SFHA, may not represent a flood risk.  An elevation certificate performed by a licensed land surveyor can determine your property’s true elevation and whether or not the SFHA designation is correct or can be removed from your property. If you are interested in obtaining an elevation certificate in Boston or the surrounding area, contact Massachusetts Survey Consultants at (617) 899-0703.