What is The National Flood Insurance Program? The City of Falls Church participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP makes federally-backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in the floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct loss caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems.
The National Flood Insurance Program has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. Two types of flood insurance coverage exist: structural and contents. Structural coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building. Your local insurance agent can describe the breadth of coverage and restrictions.
Do I have to purchase flood insurance? If your building is located in Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) AND federal or federally related financial assistance is associated with the building then you are required to purchase flood insurance. If you purchased, constructed, repaired or improved a structure within the SFHA with federal monies derived (in totality or only in part) through federally backed loans or grants then this mandatory purchase flood insurance applies. This requirement also applies to machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such building.
The requirement also applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, saving and loan associations (e.g., savings banks, and credit unions) that are regulated, supervised, or issued by federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which is to say most mortgage lenders. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
Flood Insurance Study
Many residents are unaware of the flood risks here in the City of Falls Church. To identify a community's flood risk, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts a Flood Insurance Study.
The study includes statistical data for stream flow, hydrologic / hydraulic analyses, and rainfall and topographic surveys. FEMA uses this data to create the flood hazard maps that outline a community's different flood risk areas.
A copy of the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) can be viewed online. The floodplain shown on the FIRM was developed using the 100-year storm event and represents a 1% chance that flood elevations along the Tripps Run and Four Mile Run stream corridors meet or exceed those shown on the map. Contact the Department of Public Works for assistance in determining base flood elevations for your property.