Broward County residents are invited to look at newly revised preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) for the county at several public open houses to be held November 14 – 16, 2011. Flood maps show the extent to which areas are at risk for flooding, and are used to help determine flood insurance and building requirements.
The open houses will provide Broward County residents the opportunity to see the preliminary maps, learn about their risk of flooding and ask questions about what the new maps will mean for their property. Residents can meet one-on-one with a variety of specialists who will be available to talk about flood insurance, engineering, building permits and more.
Open house dates and locations are:
Monday, November 14, 4 – 7:45 p.m.
South Regional Library
7300 Pines Boulevard
Pembroke Pines, Fla. 33024
Tuesday, November 15, 4 – 8 p.m.
Volunteer Park Community Center
12050 W. Sunrise Boulevard
Plantation, Fla. 33322
Wednesday, November 16, 4 – 8 p.m.
Herb Skolnick Center
800 SW 36 Avenue
Pompano Beach, Florida 33069
The new maps were produced through a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Broward County. They are more precise than older maps because better flood hazard and risk data and the latest science available have been applied to make the maps more accurate, with the ultimate goal of protecting property owners and the community from the risks associated with flooding.
Property owners—both homeowners and business owners—renters, realtors, mortgage lenders and insurance agents are encouraged to attend the open houses and take advantage of this opportunity to meet with specialists and ask questions, and learn more about flood risk and hazard mitigation within their communities.
Broward County’s preliminary maps have not yet been officially adopted and will become effective after a public comment period. This period allows property owners to submit appeals and protests if they can show that any part of the maps are in error. Specialists will be available at the open houses to address questions that residents may have about this process. Once all comments are received and addressed, Broward County may adopt the maps.
Flooding is the most common and most expensive type of natural disaster in the U.S. Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding, and a separate flood insurance policy may be purchased to protect residents against the financial devastation that flooding can cause.
Congress mandates that federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Some lenders may also implement their own insurance requirements on properties not in a high-risk area as a condition of the loan.
Even if flood insurance is not required on a property, it is still an important consideration because anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. If the preliminary maps show a property has moved from a high-risk to a lower-risk flood zone, property owners should talk with an insurance agent about keeping their flood insurance policy in force. While the timeline for adopting the final maps is still tentative, visit www.broward.org for updates as they are made available.
For FEMA brochures, Spanish materials and additional information, please visit www.CoralSprings.org.