Benefits and Costs of Freeboard

Benefits and Costs of Freeboard Flyer

One way flood risk is communicated is through maps that show base flood elevations (BFEs), or the height floodwaters would reach during a 1-percent-annual-chance flood in any given year.

Freeboard is a term used by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to describe a factor of safety usually expressed in feet above the 1-percent-annual-chance flood level. The NFIP requires the lowest floor of structures built in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to be at or above the BFE, so a structure built with freeboard would have its lowest floor 1 foot or more above the BFE. Adding freeboard will reduce NFIP insurance premiums.