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FEMA Redefining Flood Hazard Zones

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 12:21am.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using advancements in digital mapping technology to redefine the country's flood zones. As a result, many homeowners are being required to buy flood insurance for the first time, while others who have had coverage for years are being cleared to drop their flood policies altogether.

The changes are occurring as part of a multiyear plan by FEMA to digitize its Flood Insurance Rate Maps to make them more accurate. The process began in 2003 and FEMA is projecting that 65% of the land in the country (92% of the population) will be covered by the new high-tech maps by 2010. According to FEMA officials, the accuracy of the new mapping technology has vastly improved and allows for more precise information to be used in determining special flood-hazard areas.

Since the federal government requires properties in flood zones that have federally backed FHA and VA mortgages to carry flood insurance and private mortgage companies also use the maps for flood insurance requirements on their loans, having an accurate record of the country's flood zones is imperative. And, while some homeowners are crying foul at having their properties re-zoned into a special flood-hazard area, knowing that you're accurately covered when the worst case scenario happens should make it easier to accept having to pay for the additional costs of carrying the insurance.

Recent areas getting their Flood Insurance Rate Maps upgraded using this new digital technology included more than 100 communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin. For more information on special-flood hazard areas, you can visit the FEMA website at www.fema.gov.

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About the Author

Gulf Coast Associates, RealtorsBenjamin Dona is the Broker and Owner of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida. He holds two advanced degrees, an MBA and an MA, and has an extensive background in both business and marketing. In 1998, he founded Gulf Coast Associates, and formed a group of like-minded Realtor® associates dedicated to offering professional Southwest Florida real estate services by concentrating on information, education and the use of leading edge technologies. He also is a recognized expert on the "Net," a much-quoted and read blog author, and a contributor to both national and international news outlets. Benjamin is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Florida Association of Realtors, and numerous local real estate boards throughout Southwest Florida.

Contact Benjamin Dona at 239-948-3955



5 Responses to "FEMA Redefining Flood Hazard Zones"

Colleen Lane wrote:
Flood insurance? That's one of the oddest things I've ever heard of... but then again, I live in the desert! :D

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 11:38pm.

Cary NC wrote:
I have always been curious how they determine which homes are considered high-risk and which ones are not. And, if properties were once considered to be a risk, how could they no longer be considered a risk. Does anyone know more about how this works?

Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009 at 10:55pm.

Eric wrote:
You had to know that they would make adjustments and then we would have a slow hurricane year. Whoops! Hopefully, I did not jinx us! :-)

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 11:55pm.

John Caccese wrote:
I'm thimking about buying a home in Southwest Florida. Can you give me the flood zone areas from Fort Myers to Naples.

Thanks

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 7:29pm.

Benjamin wrote:
Hi John,

Flood zones very from place to place and go even so far as to vary by subsets of homes in a given community. One subset being in one flood zone and the rest in another.

Here are two links where you can query the map databases for the flood zone a given area is located in.

http://gis.colliergov.net/website/FEMAFLOODvision/index.aspx/dontfollow

http://florida.at/realestate/floodzones/leecountymap.html/dontfollow

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 11:19am.



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