FEMA DIGITAL FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAPS
FEMA is currently in the process of finalizing the official Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) that show the 100-year flood boundaries, also known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The SFHA is the area with a 1% or greater chance of flooding annually. FEMA has released the preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs). These DFIRMs will replace the current FIRMs. In some areas, the SFHA boundaries have been changed and include new area.
Some Otsego County property owners may find that that at least a portion of their parcel may be located within the SFHA in the DFIRMs, when it was not previously. Structures built in the SFHA have a higher risk of being damaged in flood events. The majority of these structures are required by mortgage lenders to have a flood insurance policy.
Property owners may already be aware that their parcel is in the SFHA and may have taken appropriate steps, such as purchasing flood insurance; however, in some areas new mapping has expanded the floodplain to include new properties. Lists of parcels and structures that have been identified in the expanded flood plain areas can be found to the left.
The protest and petition period in which local governments and property owners could challenge the new boundaries have passed.
After FEMA finalizeds the DFIRMs, Otsego County municipalities be required to adopt the new map(s) as law. This process is currently on hold has FEMA reviews the levees in the City of Oneonta .
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
If you have a mortgage and are now newly required to purchase flood insurance based on the DFIRMs, it is in your best interest to do so before the maps are adopted by your community. ******A policy purchased before the adoption date will receive reduced rates.******
If your property is within the SFHA flood hazard area, you may submit a Letter of Map Amendment and an elevation certificate. FEMA will review your materials and may issue a document that officially removes a property and/or structure from the SFHA. In most cases, the applicant will need to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer to prepare an Elevation Certificate for the property. Upon receiving a complete application forms package, FEMA will normally complete its review and issue its determination in 4 to 6 weeks. For more information on submitte a Letter of Map of Amendment, visit the FEMA website at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/fhm/fmc_loma.shtm
Talk to your Code Enforcement Officer or building inspector about minimizing flood risk and visit www.fema.gov/areyouready/flood.shtm and www.floods.org.