The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a Federal program, established by Congress in 1968, that allows property owners to purchase federally-backed flood insurance within communities that participate in the program. In return for this insurance protection, participating communities implement floodplain measures to reduce flood risks to new development. Through this program, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and participating communities are able to reduce future flood losses.


Under the NFIP, FEMA is required to develop flood risk data for use in both insurance rating and floodplain management. FEMA develops this data through Flood Insurance Studies (FIS). Using the results of these studies, FEMA prepares Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that depict the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) within the study’s community. SFHAs are areas subject to inundation by a flood having a 1 percent or greater probability of being equaled or exceeded during any given year. This flood, which is commonly referred to as the 100-year flood (or base flood), is the national standard on which the floodplain management and insurance requirements of the NFIP are based.

The Guilford County Development Ordinance sets forth specific rules and regulations to manage development within the special flood hazard area depicted in the effective Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Regulating development in this area is vital to ensure continued community eligibility in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Special flood hazard areas can be viewed from the Guilford County GIS Data Viewer.

As a public service Guilford County will assist you in finding the following information about a property:

  • Whether the property is in an SFHA.
  • The community number.
  • The panel number and suffix.
  • The date of the FIRM’s index (cover panel)
  • The FIRM zone e.g., A, C, X, V, AE, A2, AO etc.
  • The base flood elevation (the depth in AO Zones) where shown on the FIRM.
  • The elevation datum used on the FIRM, if other than the NGVD.
  • Any historical information about the property that we may have.
  • Any information about streams and wetlands on the property.
  • Floodway data.
  • The approximate depth of flooding.

Please contact Frank Park, Floodplain Administrator at 336-641-3753, for all inquiries.