What is the 100-year flood plain?

The 100-year floodplain, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), is an area of land that has been determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having a 1% chance of flooding in any given year. The floodplain is composed of a flood way and a flood fringe. The flood way is typically determined to be the channel of a river or stream and the overbank areas adjacent to the channel. The flood fringe is the area to either side of the flood way that is subject to flooding but conveys little or no flow. In Winnetka, there are two sources of floodplain: the Skokie River and Lake Michigan.  

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1. What is the 100-year flood plain?
2. What regulations must be followed for construction within and adjacent to the flood plain?
3. What is the Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?
4. What is the Flood Protection Elevation (FPE)?
5. When is my house considered in the flood plain?
6. My property was never in the flood plain before, why is it in the flood plain now?
7. When do I need to buy flood insurance?
8. Can I build in the flood plain?
9. Are there any restrictions for construction for homes adjacent to the 100-year flood plain?
10. What are the criteria for being able to construct a new home with a basement in the 100-year flood plain?
11. Can I make improvements to my existing home in the flood plain?
12. What is compensatory storage?
13. How can I find out if my property is located within the flood plain?