Check before you
other surface drainage problems can occur well away from a river, lake or ocean. If you
are looking at a property, it is a good idea to check out any possible flood hazard before you buy Here is why:
The force of moving water or
waves can destroy a Building.
Slow-moving floodwaters can
knock people off their feet or float a car.
Even standing water can float
a building, collapse basement walls, or buckle a concrete floor.
Water-soaked contents such as
carpeting, clothing, upholstered furniture, and mattresses have to be discarded.
Items like photographs and
heirlooms may never be restored.
Floodwaters are not clean.
Floods carry mud, farm chemicals, road oil, and other noxious substances that can cause
The impact of a flood cleanup,
making repairs, and the personal loss, can cause great stress to you, your family and your
Is Available To You
Sarasota County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether or
not they are in a floodplain. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface
flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local
NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage:
coverage insures the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently
attached to the structure.
coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building.
Failure to have flood insurance may adversely impact your ability to apply for
government financial assistance following a flood disaster
mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally-related
financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
This requirement affects loans and grants for the purchase, construction, repair. or
improvement of any publicly or privately- owned building in the SFHA, including machinery,
equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings.
programs affected include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of
Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small
Business Administration, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The requirement also
applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders,
savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions regulated, supervised or
insured by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the
Office of Thrift Supervision. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie
Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of
the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a
Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the base (100-Year) floodplain mapped on a
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as one or more zones that begin with the
letter A or V
the FIRM are available for review in most government building departments and in Sarasota
County are also available in the Selby Public Librarys Flood Protection Reference
Section. Many lenders and insurance agents also have copies. It is the agencys or
lenders responsibility to check the FIRM to determine if the building is in a SFHA although many communities provide assistance.
building is in a SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to
purchase a flood insurance policy for the building. The requirement is for structural
coverage equal to the amount of the loan (or other financial assistance) or the maximum
amount available, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family
house is $250,000.
purchase does not affect loans or financial aid for items that are not covered by a flood
insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It
does not affect loans for buildings that are riot in the SFHA, even though a portion of
the lot may be flood prone. Even if not. mandated by law., a lender may require flood
insurance as a condition of a loan for a property.
Sarasota County regulates construction and development in the floodplain to
ensure that buildings will be protected from flood damage. Filling and similar projects
are prohibited in certain areas. Houses substantially damaged by fire, flood, or any other
cause, when reconstructed or repaired, must be elevated above the flood level.
Before you commit to buying property do the following:
the most reliable source of information ask Sarasota Countys Construction & Property Standards Department:
property in a floodplain?
Has it ever
What is the
flood depth, velocity and flood warning time?
Is it subject
to any other hazards?
and zoning regulations are in effect for that property?
It may also be helpful to ask
the seller and the neighbors:
Is the property in a floodplain?
How long have you lived here?
Has the property ever flooded?
Is it subject to any other
mapping information on property located in Sarasota County call the Construction &
Property Standards Department at (941) 379-6085 or Sarasota County Stormwater at (941)
Protection: A building can be protected from most flood hazards, sometimes at a relatively low cost. New buildings and additions can be elevated above
flood levels. Existing buildings can be protected from shallow floodwaters by regrading,
berms, or floodwalls. There are other retrofitting techniques that can protect a building
from surface or subsurface water.
Flood Insurance: One of the best protection measures
for building with a flood problem is. National
Flood Insurance which is purchased
through any property insurance agent. If the building is located in a floodplain, flood insurance will be required by most mortgage lenders. Be sure to include
the cost of a policy in your mortgage and financial planning.
Printed by Sarasota County Government for consumer welfare and information.