Welcome to the Flood Zone! A nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and edu

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Welcome to the Flood Zone!

A nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and educational opportunities. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this message.

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Do you fear that your perceived flood risk may change due to a flood map change, or are you worried mandatory flood insurance will impact the sale or value of your property? Good news! Becoming pro-active pertaining to flood risk is always a wonderful first step to take in hopes of minimizing the impact of a map change.

First of all, acquiring specific elevations within and around your structure in relation to the Base Flood Elevation, or water level of an adjacent unnumbered A zone, generates important data which often creates a sound strategy to lessen the impact of a map change. The Elevation Certificate aids in determining if a map challenge to remove the mandatory flood insurance premium is a worthy option to consider. Building modification or compliant placed fill can also prove very beneficial in the process of lessening the impact of a map change.

"Grandfathering" allows for a property owner to lock into a previous flood zone or Base Flood Elevation, but coverage must be continuous. "Grandfathering – Built in Compliance" does not require continuous coverage, but does require proof to the carrier. Age of construction, timing, and change of risk have much importance in the grandfathering process, so speaking with a qualified flood insurance agent is highly recommended.

The Newly Mapped Procedure applies to properties newly mapped into a Special Flood Hazard Area (Zones A or V) from Zones B, C, X, D, AR, and A99 zones, for policies previously issued under the Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) Eligibility Extension, and may even be eligible to receive a preferred risk premium for the first year after a map change.

If you currently have a policy, maintain continuous coverage. If you do not and your community is facing a map change, strongly consider obtaining a Preferred Risk Policy, perform research pertaining to your potential change of risk, or both. In some situations, the Elevation Certificate can also prove beneficial when comparing a standard policy and a subsidized rate.

So in a nutshell, opportunities exist to minimize the effects of a map change. Building outside of a Special Flood Hazard Area, building compliant with all required rules and regulations, or elevating your lowest floor will always prove beneficial. Lower perceived risk equals lower insurance premium, it is really that simple! Become pro-active, not re-active! Understand your options before a map change.



Real Estate Professionals - Help Protect Your Customer's New Home: What to Know and Say about Flood Risk and Flood Insurance

"Buying a new home can be confusing, which is why potential buyers rely on you, their Realtor, to help them protect their financial investment. Flood risk and flood insurance are important topics that home buyers should consider early in the home buying process."

Click here to download a PDF of FEMA's "Real Estate Fact Sheet: Help Protect Your Customer's New Home"


NFIP Grandfathering Rules for Agents

"When flood map changes occur, the NFIP provides a lower-cost flood insurance rating option known as 'grandfathering.' It is available for property owners who already have flood insurance policies in effect when the new flood maps become effective and then maintain continuous coverage, or have built in compliance with the FIRM in effect at the time of construction."

Click here to download a PDF of FEMA's "NFIP Grandfathering Rules for Agents" Fact Sheet

Not sure if or when flood maps are being updated in your community?

Check out the Flood Map Update Schedule in the NFIP's website. Just enter your zip code and select your community from the list to review the status of any proposed map changes.


Flood Terminology: Approximate A Zones

Although thousands of communities have now been provided detailed Flood Insurance Studies and issued FIRMs that include Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), many floodplains are still designated as approximate Zone A without BFEs. Due to the costs of developing detailed risk data, areas not subject to development pressure are studied using approximate methodologies and continue to be shown on the FIRM as approximate Zone A areas. FEMA only provides BFEs for the floodplains of those flooding sources that are currently subject to development pressure or are projected at the initiation of a Flood Insurance Study or restudy to be subject to development pressure during the immediate future.

Generally, a planning period of approximately five years is used. Even in these cases, BFEs are provided on a priority basis due to funding constraints. The community plays a major part in the determination of the level of detail required in the study of selected streams. As a result, most communities will have FIRMs that include special flood hazard areas for flooding sources that have been studied in detail with BFEs as well as those studied with approximate methods, designated as approximate Zone A.

Check out: "Managing Floodplain Development in Approximate Zone A Areas", FEMA 1995


In the News

How to Assess Private Flood Insurance

By Ann Carrns, The New York Times, September 7, 2016
As the topic of private flood insurance continues to develop, it is important for consumers to know how it differs from national flood insurance, and what their options are. This article offers a brief summary of the major differences and what questions you may want to consider if deciding between the two.

Read more!

Why Are We Using Flood Insurance Maps from 1996?

By Claire Taylor, The Daily Advertiser, October 10, 2016

This article takes a look at some issues being faced by flood victims in Louisiana after recent storms, the reasons why flood insurance rate maps are outdated, and the steps that homeowners can take to protect themselves from future damage.

Read more!


On this Day in History...

On October 12, 1962 the "Columbus Day Storm", also known as "The Big Blow", struck the Pacific northwest U.S. and parts of western Canada. It is considered the benchmark of extratropical wind storms, with wind gusts exceeding 145 miles per hour. In less than 12 hours, more than 11,000,000,000 board feet of timber was blown down in northern California, Oregon, and Washington combined, exceeding the annual timber harvest for Oregon and Washington. Estimated damage ranged between $230-280 million in 1962 dollars, which equates to about $1.8-2.2 billion 2014 dollars.

"With little fear of exaggeration, it can be stated that the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was the most powerful windstorm to strike the Pacific Northwest in the 20th century." ~Wolf Read, PhD


October Flood Funny


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