Flood Maps Are Changing...
Table of Contents
MAPPING THE RISK - Flood Map Modernization
Manatee County is entering a new era.
A multi-year project to re-examine flood zones and develop detailed flood hazard maps is nearing completion. The new maps will reflect current flood risks, replacing maps that are more than 28 years old. As a result, property owners throughout the county will have up-to-date, reliable, Internet-acessible information about their flood risk - on a property-by-property basis. And owners of thousands of properties will learn that their risk is higher, or lower, than they thought. As someone with a stake in Manatee County, you should be aware of how the maps are changing and why - and how the changes will affect residences and business owners alike.
Flood Maps: A Risk Management Must
Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), are important tools in the effort to protect lives and properties in Manatee County. But showing the extent to which areas of the county - and individual properties - are at risk for flooding, flood maps help business and property owners make better financial decisions about protecting their property. These maps will also allow community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others to make important determinations about where and how new structures and developments should be built.
To ensure that everyone within Manatee County has access to the most accurate and up-to-date information about flood hazards, the new maps will be made available for public view and review.
A Better Picture of Flood Hazards
Over time, water flow and drainage patterns have changed dramatically due to surface erosion and other natural forces. The likelihood of inland, riverine and coastal flooding in certain areas has changed along with these factors. New digital mapping techniques along with updated topography will provide more detailed, reliable and current data on county flood hzards. The result: a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and a better foundation from which to make key decisions.
The flood map modernization project is a joint effort between Manatee County, Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and local municipalities.
Flood Insurance Requirements and Options
When the new maps are adopted, flood insurance requirements will change. However, options exist that will allow property owners to save money while still protecting their property.
|IF MAPS SHOW...||THESE REQUIREMENTS, OPTIONS AND SAVINGS APPLY|
Change from low or moderate flood risk to high risk
Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood Insurance will be federally required for most mortgage holders.* Insurance costs may rise to reflect the true (high) risk.
Grandfathering offers savings. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has "grandfathering" rules to recognize policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map or who have maintained continuous coverage. An insurance agent can provide more details on how to save.
|Change from high flood risk to low or moderate risk|| |
Flood insurance is optional, but recommended. The risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance can still be obtained, at lower rates. Twenty-five (25) percent of all flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.
Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be converted to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy.
|No change in risk level||No change in insurance rates. Property owners should talk to their insurance agent to learn their specific risk and take steps to protect their property and assets.|
Flood Risks and Flood Zones
Flood maps refer to areas of high, medium or low risks as "flood hazard zones" and the zones of highest risk as "Special Flood Hazard Areas."
|RISK LEVEL||FLOOD ZONE HAZARD|
|High Flood Risk|| |
AE, A, or AO Zone. These properties have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year - and a 26 percent chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
VE or V Zone. These properties have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year and also face hazards associated with coastal storm waves.
Insurance note: High-risk areas are called Special Flood Hazard Areas, and flood insurance is mandatory for most mortgage holders.
|Low or Moderate Flood Risk|| |
Shaded X Zone. These properties are outside the high-risk zones. The risk is reduced but not removed.
X Zone. These properties are in an area of overall lower risk.
Insurance note: Lower cost preferred rate flood insurance policies (known as Preferred Risk Policies) are often an option in these zones.
* Required for loans provided by federally regulated lenders as well as government Sponsored Enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit www.FloodSmart.gov for more information on how to protect against flooding and the steps local residents may need to take to ensure that they have proper insurance coverage to protect their investment.
The Map Adoption Process
December 15, 2011 - Preliminary maps released
February 5, 2013 - Start of 90-day Public Comment Period (for filing of appeals and protects).
March 17, 2014* - Maps adopted; new insurance requirements take effect
*Dates are subject to change
Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (D-FIRMs)
BakerAECOM is the contract engineer for FEMA for producing our new digital FIRMs. The following is the link to their website to see the actual maps in .pdf form.