A Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is an area designated by FEMA on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map. This area 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. Instead, it is based on statistical analyses, floodplain topographic surveys and other information for an entire area. As a result, there is a margin of error. Some properties may be considered to be in an SFHA but may not represent a flood risk. An elevation certificate performed by a licensed land surveyor can determine your property’s true elevation. This can establish whether or not the SFHA designation is correct. If not, it 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.