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  • Writer's pictureSean Sassoon

FEMA Flood Maps to Change



It's that time again. FEMA's (Federal Emergency Management Agency) flood maps are due for some serious updates that will only cost homeowners more money. FEMA typically updates its maps every 10 years. Currently if you want to view your flood map details you can click on this link https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home (This map is reflective on July 2014 flood maps which can be found on property appraiser websites, FEMA.gov, and Imapp) in order to view the details. If you currently have a mortgage and are in a flood zone other than Zone X, you are required to pay for flood insurance as required by your lender.


Effective July 31st, 2024 a new FEMA Flood Map will be released. For some people, there will be no change. You will either remain in a flood zone or not. For many other home owners, they will see themselves move from being in Zone X to being in a higher risk flood zone and will be required to purchase Flood Insurance. The Broward County Flood Map Revision set to take effect in July 2024 can be found at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/942f6643838344f08ff450b0bc1b731a/page/Page/#data_s=id%3Awidget_22_output_config_0%3A0%2Cid%3AdataSource_1-Proposed_FEMA_Flood_Zone_Changes_2019_NoSymb_211%3A392430

(This map is reflective on July 2024 flood map and cannot be viewed anywhere else except a specific flood map that has to be downloaded by section on the FEMA website. It is not clearly named as it seems to be based on FEMA's own section naming system).


Here's a disclaimer from the search map for Broward County, FL:

This website will provide, for a selected parcel, the 100-year elevation (base flood elevation, or BFE) in the current flood maps and the proposed flood maps to be effective July 31, 2024. It must be noted that for parcels with multiple BFEs, in the current and proposed flood maps, the website will indicate the highest BFE.


DIRECTIONS:

  • Type in your address in the Find Address box in the upper right-hand corner. (Example: 1 NE 5th Street, 33060)

  • Once the pop-up box designating the approximate location of your address on the map appears, find your house and click it.

  • A new pop-up window will appear with the FEMA Flood Designations to be effective July 31, 2024, and the FEMA Flood Designations Effective 8/18/2014 for your address. (NOTE: Certain areas of the county have an unchanged flood zone designation, and the Flood Map Pane will not be updated.).  If you are within this area, only the FEMA Flood Designations Effective 8/18/2014 will be shown in the pop-up window.

  • The pop-up window for a selected parcel will also provide the 100-year elevation (base flood elevation, or BFE) in the current and proposed flood maps (to be effective July 31, 2024).  It must be noted that for parcels with multiple BFEs, in the current and/or proposed flood maps, the pop-up window will indicate the highest BFEs.


Designations:


Zone AO

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas of shallow flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain) with average depths between 1 and 3 feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.


Zone AE

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds with flood depths greater than 3 feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.


Zone AH

Flood insurance rate zones correspond to areas of shallow flooding with average depths between 1 and 3 feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.


Zone VE

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to coastal areas that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Mandatory flood insurance requirements apply.


Zone X-Shaded (0.2 PCT Annual Chance Flood Hazard) 

Zone X

Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (above the 500-year flood plain), are also shown on the FIRM and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (below 500 Year Flood Plain).



Here's an example of what you will see after searching for your address and clicking on it:


PROPOSED FEMA FLOOD HAZARD ZONE CHANGES

Zoom to

Owner of Record:SRP SUB LLC  

Folio:  49422000000 

Proposed Zone: A Series / VE

Insurance:Flood Insurance may be required

Follow link below for current Flood information Broward FEMA Flood Map Effective August 18, 2014

Status of Zone Change: X to SFHA

FIRM Panel 2014: 12011C0366H

Proposed FIRM Panel (effective July 31, 2024): 12011C0366J If no data for BFE is available, no value will appear below.A value of  N/A indicates subsurface flooding.Please Note: Multiple flood zones may overlap parcels. The higher risk zone may determine the insurance designation.Flood Zone Insurance Designations These boundaries appear as you zoom in with labels.2014 has a purple boundary and labels.Proposed (to be effective July 31, 2024) has an orange dotted boundary and labels.

2014 BFE: N/A FeetProposed (effective July 31, 2024) BFE: N/A FeetOnly the higher risk X designation is within the Proposed (effective July 31, 2024) Study.  


If you feel that FEMA may be in error, you do have the following options (as per the FEMA website):


If you believe your property was incorrectly identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you may submit an application to FEMA for a formal determination of the property's location and/or elevation relative to the SFHA. This is called a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request.

A "Special Flood Hazard Area" has a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year, sometimes referred to as the one-percent-annual-chance flood or base flood.

After FEMA reviews the map change request, it will issue a determination document, either approving or denying the map change. There are two types determination documents you can seek in your LOMC request.

  • Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): A letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land — that is on naturally high ground and has not been elevated by fill — would not be inundated by the base flood. 

  • Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F): A letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land has been elevated by earthen fill and would not be inundated by the base flood. 

If FEMA grants the map amendment or revision request, the property owner may no longer be required to pay flood insurance. The property owner may send the determination document to their lender and request that the federal flood insurance requirement for the structure be removed.

Learn More About LOMA & LOMR-F Requirements

How to Submit a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) Request

You may complete the request online or by sending paper forms by mail. Access the paper forms: MT-EZ, MT-1 and MT-2.

Homeowners, Renters, Community Officials and Other Individuals

Any applicant who would like to submit a Letter of Map Change request directly to FEMA may do so online using at our Online LOMC site. You can:

  • Request an amendment or revision to a flood map

  • Upload supporting documentation

  • Pay any associated fees

  • Check the status of your submitted request

  • Review frequently asked questionsabout Online LOMC

Submit Requests at Online LOMC

Land Surveyors, Professional Engineers and Other FEMA-Permitted Certified Professionals

Licensed and certified professionals may submit Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) request using our eLOMA tool.

Registered users can use eLOMA to generate a determination from FEMA within minutes of submitting required information and data.

Learn How to Access eLOMA



Beyond this, I've been told by insurance agents that you can have an elevation certificate completed by a survey company to prove your property has limited risk and submit it to the insurance company. However, this would not remove the policy, just lower your premium. The best way to remove the requirement is to contact FEMA directly from one of the above links and submit a request. I fully intend to do it in my neighborhood because I've never had a flood issue in either of my properties. Worst case scenario is that nothing changes, best case scenario is that I don't have to pay for flood insurance unnecessarily. However, there will always be the possibility of risk, which is why it would be smart to create an emergency account to cover accidental flood or anything else regarding a property. Remember, the new flood maps are not current on any websites except for the one shown here. They will not go into effect until July 2024.


The important message here is to look up whether you will be affected and if so either contact FEMA to see if they will correct the flood map or prepare to pay for flood insurance if you currently have a mortgage.


Written By Sean Sassoon

Lic. Real Estate Broker

We Work By Referral LLC

(954)292-1000

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