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Flooding can occur in any region, but certain areas are prone to serious flooding. To help provinces, territories and communities understand the risk of flooding in their area, flood maps have been created to show the locations of high-risk, moderate-to-low risk and undetermined-risk areas. These are widely known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs.

High-Risk Areas (Special Food Hazard Area or SFHA)
These high-risk areas have at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. On flood maps, these zones are labeled with either an ‘A’ or ‘V’.

Moderate-to-Low Risk Areas (Non-Specials Flood Hazard Area or NFSA)
In moderate-to-low risk areas, over 20% of NFIP claims are submitted and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in these areas but it is mostly recommended for all property owners and renters. Flood maps label these zones with either a ‘B’, ‘C’, or ‘X’.

Undetermined-Risk Areas
Flood-hazard analysis has not been performed in these areas, but the risk of flooding is still apparent. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are labeled with a ‘D’.