New Public Website Makes it Easier for Property Owners to Access Flood Risk Data for Individual Properties
The City of Miramar is always striving to find new ways to ensure compliance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System (CRS). In fact, the City has recently partnered with Forerunner Industries Inc., a Delaware-based software company, to digitize the City’s floodplain management program, thereby creating significant efficiencies for City staff by aggregating disparate flood information into a single dashboard and automating many workflows and reports. The Forerunner application will go a long way in helping the City increase the number of creditable activities it can submit to the Federal Management Agency (FEMA) for its CRS cycle verification, which can lead to higher CRS rating and therefore greater flood insurance discounts.
The City’s official website now features a link to a public version of the Forerunner application for the City for all community members to access available flood risk data for individual properties. The site will make it easier for homeowners, contractors, insurance agents, and realtors to learn about a property’s flood-related risk and potential insurance compliance requirements. The public website can be accessed at: Miramar Flood Information and will enable community members to perform the following searches:
- Search for a property’s flood risk: Each property in the City will have a unique public profile with available flood data. Community members can now search for a property on the homepage by address to find its flood zone, FEMA- provided Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Design Flood Elevation (DFE), important flood-compliance-related warnings, and more.
- Find Elevation certificates and other important flood-related documents for a property: Need an Elevation certificate for a permit or for insurance purposes? If there is document on file, community members can now find it in the searchable Elevation Certificate page , or on the property’s unique public profile – saving the cost of getting a new one.
- Review Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage information for a property: Homeowners seeking to make improvements to a property may unknowingly nearing the property’s substantial improvement threshold, i.e., improvements in the last 5 years amounting to half of the assessed value of the current structure on the property. The site contains a property’s previous improvement or damages that will help community members understand possible limitations to their plans.
For more information, please contact Nixon Lebrun, AICP, MPA, CFM, Assistant Director of Building, Planning and Zoning at (954) 602-3281 or email.
On December 31, 2019, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released updated preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs or flood maps) that are expected to replace substantial portions of the current circa 2014 flood maps. Once adopted, these preliminary flood maps will be used to establish actuarial flood insurance rates and flood insurance purchase requirements for affected property owners.
These changes to the flood maps are the result of a comprehensive coastal flooding study performed by FEMA between 2014 and 2019. Initially, FEMA indicated to County and municipal staff that the anticipated impacts of the coastal study were primarily to areas east of I-95. However, the preliminary results indicate that the effects of coastal tidal flooding extend west of I-95 (mostly, but not exclusively, in the southern portions of the county). In fact, the City of Miramar will be particularly affected by the proposed changes to the flood maps. The recently preliminary released flood maps show that as many as 20,335 properties are proposed to be added to the Flood Zones and would thus require to purchase flood insurance, while only 409 are proposed to be removed from the SFHAs properties and to no longer require flood insurance.
FEMA will host a Community Consultation Officer (CCO) meeting between 3 – 5 pm on Wednesday February 5, 2020 to discuss the recently released preliminary flood maps. This meeting, which will be held at the Broward County Emergency Operations Center located at 201 N.W. 84th Avenue in Plantation, will provide an opportunity to government officials, i.e., floodplain administrators/CRS coordinators, emergency managers, representatives of building/permitting, planning/zoning and engineering offices, who use the FIRMs, to:
- Review the preliminary flood maps, provide input and discuss concerns with representatives from FEMA, the State of Florida and the coastal study mapping team;
- Learn about the map adoption process; and
- Ask questions about the flood risk mapping initiative.
The aforementioned CCO meeting is not intended for the general public. City residents, who may have questions and/or concerns about the proposed map changes and how their properties will be affected, are instead encouraged to attend one of the of the following Public Flood Risk Open House events, which FEMA will host:
- Monday, February 3: 4 – 7 p.m. (Charles F. Dodge City Center; Pembroke Pines, FL)
- Thursday, February 6: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Emma Lou Olsen Civic Center; Pompano Beach, FL)
- Thursday, February 6: 4 – 7 p.m. (Anne Kolb Nature Center; Hollywood, FL).
Following the community meetings, FEMA will publish in the Federal Register a notice of the proposed flood maps, as well as two (2) public notices in the Sun Sentinel, after which, a six-month appeal period will commence. At the end of the appeal period, sometime in late 2020 or early 2021, FEMA will have an indefinite amount of time to resolve the appeals and issue a letter of final determination. Once FEMA makes the final determination, there will be six months for the Broward County Commission to adopt the flood maps before they take effect sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. Following is the schedule of the community meetings.
Broward FEMA Flood Map Preliminary
- Type in your address in the Find Address box in the upper right hand corner. (Example: 1 NE 5th Street, 33060)
- Once the pop-up box designating the approximate location of your address on the map appears, find your house and click it.
- A new pop-up window will appear with the old and new FEMA flood zone designations for your address.