FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area Information

Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) as land areas facing a 1.0-percent (100-year flood) or 0.2-percent (500-year flood) chance of flooding each year. All private development within the 100-year flood zone is regulated by the Engineering Division with the goal of ensuring the protection of life and property for those who are situated in these areas. 

This page provides information about flood and other hazard risks, construction requirements within the SFHA, and other information about Napa County's Floodplain Management Program. 

What can you do to reduce your flood risk? 

  1. Check with the Engineering Division of the Planning Building and Environmental Services Department on the extent of past flooding in your area.  Department staff can tell you about the causes of repetitive flooding, what the County is doing about it, and what would be an appropriate flood protection level. The staff can visit your property to discuss flood protection alternatives.
  2. Prepare for flooding by doing the following:
    • Know how to shut off the electricity and gas to your house when a flood comes.
    • Make a list of emergency numbers and identify a safe place to go.
    • Make a household inventory, especially of lowest floor level contents.
    • Put insurance policies, valuable papers, medicine, etc., in a safe place.
    • Collect and put cleaning supplies, camera, waterproof boots, etc., in a handy place.
    • Develop a disaster response plan. See the Red Cross’ website at www.redcross.org for information about preparing your home and family for a disaster.
    • Get a copy of Repairing Your Flooded Home. It can be found on the Red Cross’ website, too.
  3. Consider some permanent flood protection measures.
    • Mark your fuse or breaker box to show the circuits to the floodable areas. Turning off the power to the these areas before a flood can reduce property damage and save lives.
    • Consider elevating your house above flood levels.
    • Check your building for water entry points, such as windows, entry stairwells, doors, and dryer vents. These can be protected with low walls or temporary shields.
    • Install a floor drain plug, standpipe, overhead sewer, or sewer backup valve to prevent sewer backup flooding.
    • More information can be found at FEMA’s website, www.ready.gov/floods
    • Note that some flood protection measures may need a building permit and others may not be safe for your type of building, so be sure to talk to the Engineering Division of the Planning Building and Environmental Services Department. 
  4. Talk to the Engineering Division of the Planning Building and Environmental Services Department for information on financial assistance.
    • The County administers a flood protection rebate program that will pay 25% of approved projects, up to a total of $2,500. This program has funded low floodwalls, overhead sewers, sewer backup valves, and relocation of utilities to higher levels.
    • If you are interested in elevating your building above the flood level or selling it to the City, we may apply for a Federal grant to cover 75% of the cost.
    • Get a flood insurance policy – it will help pay for repairs after a flood and, in some cases, it will help pay the costs of elevating a substantially damaged building.
  5. Get a flood insurance policy.
    • Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. However, because our community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available to everyone, even properties that have been flooded. Because our community participates in the Community Rating System, you will receive a reduction in the insurance premium.
    • Because your area is not mapped as a Special Flood Hazard Area, you may qualify for a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy.
    • Some people have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies just cover the building’s structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in your area, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure. Be sure you have contents coverage.
    • Don’t wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.
    • Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.

Community Rating System (CRS)

The County of Napa Engineering Services division is the floodplain management agency for Napa County and has opted to participate in FEMA’s CRS. Participating in this program allows the County of Napa to earn discounted flood insurance rates for all community members. By following the guidelines set forth by FEMA, the County of Napa earns a CRS credit. As the community earns a higher CRS credit, the community is eligible for greater flood insurance discounts. Napa County's current CRS is 7. 

As part of the CRS the County prepares an annual progress report on our Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) objective to promote a flood safer community, a copy this report is available here:

By working together, we all strive towards educating ourselves and helping the community. Please find more information on how you can participate in Napa Flood and Water Resources.

Elevation Certificates

The Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with Napa County's floodplain management ordinance, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F). For information on how to properly complete an Elevation Certificate, please watch the Elevation Certificate Training video series at the link below.

Note: The County of Napa Engineering Services Division keeps Elevation Certificates on file. Non-classified information is available upon request

Napa County Useful Links

FEMA Construction Guidelines (Technical Bulletins & Other)

Additional Useful Links from FEMA