Florida is well documented as a geographical region that can experience significant weather and flooding issues. Therefore, it is always strongly recommended that commercial property owners brush up on their understanding of flood zones and the impact they can have on flood insurance and overall flood risk.
Flood zones and elevation requirements are implemented and regulated through various government programs in order to ensure that property owners are protected from the threat of material and financial loss due to flood conditions. Since flood zones can change, it is important to fully understand FEMA guidelines and current flood maps.
Flood hazard areas in Florida can be identified on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 0.2 percent to 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood; while the 0.2-percent annual chance flood is referred to as the 500-year flood. Outside of these zones are the higher elevation zones which fall outside of the 0.2-percent annual flood probability know as Zone C or Zone X.
Flood surveys and elevation surveys are two popular services provided by Stoner & Associates. These surveys are required to ensure that all new buildings adhere to proper flood, elevation, and building requirements. This service is also provided to individuals that have been required to purchase flood insurance at the request of a lender. Elevation certificates for construction properties are available and help determine if a property is located within a designated flood zone.
In order to determine whether a property is located within a flood zone, the property must have flood certification. While some are hesitant to spend the money to acquire such a certification, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that flood insurance savings earned by following its flood guidelines average $90,000 over the span of 10 years. To search if your property may be in a FEMA designated flood zone visit the FEMA Flood Zone Map link for more information. To learn more about acquiring a flood survey and/or elevation survey for your property call us at (954) 585-0997.
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