In the United States and in Georgia, flooding is the number one natural disaster. To identify flood hazards and the risks they pose, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) develops flood hazard maps, officially known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMS. Click here to determine whether your property is in the flood zone.
For new construction: there is no building on the flood plain.
For renovations to existing property that is in the flood plain, the project:
- Can not expand the size of the house
- The renovations can not cost more than half of the current value of the home
- The lowest furnished floor must be 3-feet above the flood plain. To best determine this, homeowners should consult with an engineer
Federal flood insurance is required by most lenders for buildings mapped in the high-risk Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) shown on flood hazard maps. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters within NFIP participating communities. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk.
Some property owners with mortgages may face new flood insurance requirements while others may find the requirements have been lifted.
If a resident already has a flood insurance policy in place when mapped into a high-risk area, the premium can be calculated using the lower risk zone on the earlier map. The National Flood Insurance Program has “grandfathering” rules to recognize policy holders who bought or kept coverage prior to the redrawing of the maps, which could result in a savings.
For more information about flood insurance, visit www.floodsmart.gov.
For more information about flood zones within the city of Sandy Springs, contact Chief Engineer, Gilbert Quinones