What is Flood Preparedness?
If your property is in or near an area subject to flooding, the following information may be of interest to you. This information is offered by the City of Deltona (the City) to help protect your property and to potentially reduce property losses due to flooding. The City is dedicated to assisting our residents and businesses to reduce the hazardous effects of flooding in our community with efforts that are in keeping with those established on a national basis through FEMA.
Residents living outside of Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are encouraged to stay educated on the most current FEMA and local regulations concerning floodplain management, as well as have the opportunity to purchase SFHA-oriented insurance coverage. This information is designed to provide guidance to resources available for those with property within or near areas of flooding or have one of the four repetitive loss properties in the City. The repetitive loss properties have either been flooded repeatedly, had flood waters encroach onto their property frequently, or are in or near a flood zone that has a high incidence of flooding.
The information included is to help protect your property and to potentially reduce property losses due to flooding. The City is dedicated to assisting our residents and businesses to reduce the hazardous effects of flooding in our community, with efforts that are in keeping with those established on a national basis through FEMA.
How to Obtain Floodplain Information
The City Planning and Development Services Department at (386) 878-8600, provides Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) information through being the repository for the FIRM maps and having online access to the maps. We typically provide this information to individuals, lenders, insurance agents, real estate agents, and homeowners. Elevation Certificates are often requested to be reviewed and are on file and available upon request through the City Building Department at (386) 878-8100 that show finished construction elevations for all newly constructed or substantially improved buildings. To determine if your property is in or near an SFHA, or for help with interpreting the FEMA FIRM panels, please contact the City Planning and Development Services Department at (386) 878-8600.
Local Flood Hazard
An SFHA is a national concern for properties within established 100-year floodplain zones and those near the floodplain. This is especially prevalent in the City following the four hurricanes in 2004 and Tropical Storm Faye in 2008, which caused tremendous flooding. As a result, the City has been diligently undertaking stormwater management projects throughout the community to mitigate the potential for future flood impacts and has purchased repetitive loss properties clustered along Beechdale Drive, Springwood Lane, and Ft. Smith Boulevard that was either flooded or within the drainage area.
Nationally, an SFHA area can include 100-year floodplain areas considered as A, AE, AH, or X, depending upon whether the floodplain basin they are within has an established Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Nearly 22% of Deltona is either in an A, AE, or X flood zone, per the recent February 19, 2014, FEMA FIRM maps, with no AH zones present in the City (see the zone definitions below). A common misconception is that SFHAs do not just exist in close proximity to water bodies, low areas, or wetlands, but also near areas of potential floodings, such as closed basins that appear to be uplands.
Residents living along low areas including lakes, dry lake beds, retention areas, forested wetlands, ditches, or within a closed basin may have portions of their lots within an SFHA. It is incumbent upon the property owner to verify the location of the SFHA boundary in relation to their lot.
If you live or own a business in Deltona and have a building within or adjacent to an SFHA, there is a 26% higher risk percentage of being flooded during the timeframe of ownership within a 30-year mortgage period. Inland flooding occurs when rain from storm events, overflows, rivers, streams, lakes, retention areas, and canals.
While the City has regulations and policies in place concerning floodplain management and steering development away from being within the floodplain, residents are encouraged to visit the City and conduct research on their property to take advantage of the technology and information available to them concerning floodplain management. Preferably, property owners will use that information as a reference to located buildings and structures outside of the 100-year floodplain. Thus, development within the 100-year floodplain should use every precaution necessary to mitigate the impacts of that development.
What is a CRS Discount?
Another measure that the City can assist residents with is helping to keep the cost of flood insurance as low as possible, by participating in the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is administered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which offers discounts to property owners located in SFHAs, in exchange for certain requirements being met by the City. As responsible floodplain managers, the City has to continually maintain an index of floodplain management within SFHA activities that includes documentation of properties within SFHAs, percentages of land use, preservation of open space, tabulation of data to manage development away from SFHAs, mapping land uses in relation to SFHAs, and public outreach that is designed to educate residents and business owners; such as this webpage.
The City has received a CRS Class 9 rating. The floodplain management activities implemented by the City qualify it for a 5 percent discount in the in the premium cost of flood insurance for NFIP policies issued or renewed in Special Flood Hazard Areas on or after May 1, 2015. As the City improves in its tracking and documentation of floodplain management, the potential for increased savings for flood insurance policyholders improves as well.
Flood Insurance Required
The Flood Disaster Protection Act requires the purchase of flood insurance to receive federal or federally-backed insurance for acquisition and/or construction of buildings in an SFHA. Homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding; therefore, a separate policy must be purchased.
Under the recently enacted National Flood Insurance Reform Act, the lender is legally responsible for determining if a flood insurance policy is required for a loan. Coverage may be purchased for both the building and its contents. Residences can be insured for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents. Because content coverage is separate, renters can also insure their belongings up to the same amount. Non-residential buildings can be insured for up to $500,000 for the building and $50,000 for the contents. Since these figures can vary, check with your insurance company for further details.
If you are not in an SFHA and you wish to purchase flood insurance, a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) is available at a discounted rate. Because these policies already have the lowest premium possible, the CRS discount will not apply. PRP Coverage limits may be $250,000 for the building and $60,000 for the contents.
How Can You Protect your Property?
There are several different ways to help make your home and/or non-residential property safer during a flood. Some methods include grading or re-grading your lot to slope away from the building; building a small floodwall, earthen berm, or ditch; adding underdrains; placing watertight closures over the doorways; raising the structure; etc. All of these efforts require a permit.
These retrofitting techniques and drainage improvements may include an alteration to either the home (structure), the home site (land) and/or both. Having lot surveys and/or Elevation Certificates, prepared by an Engineer of Record and/or Registered Land Surveyor in the State of Florida, will help to establish the elevation characteristics in relation to an SFHA.
Property protection one-on-one advice to interested property owners about property protection, such as retrofitting techniques and drainage improvements, can be provided by contacting the City Building Department at (386) 878-8100. A site visit by City personnel may be made before providing such advice and the City can provide advice that may lead to financial assistance on certain financial assistance programs that may be available through federal, state, and local government entities; as part of the City’s program for public information (PPI).
What are the National Substantial Improvement Requirements?
The NFIP requires that existing buildings meet the same construction requirements as a new building if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, addition, or other improvements equals or exceeds 50% of the building's market value.
Is there Financial Assistance for Property Protection?
Mitigation of the flood risk to properties will reduce the overall costs of flood insurance claims to the NFIP as well as to individual homeowners. Accordingly, Congress has created a variety of funding sources to help property owners reduce exposure to flood damage. FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs provide funding for eligible mitigation activities that reduce disaster losses and protect life and property. Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) provides funds for the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The goal of the PDM program is to reduce overall risk to the population and structures, while at the same time reducing reliance on federal funding from actual disaster declarations. Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) provides funds to reduce the risk of flood damage to individual properties insured under the NFIP that have had one or more claim payments for flood damages. You can visit FEMA's Website, for information about these grant programs. The City Planning and Development Services Department can provide additional information on financial assistance and can be reached at (386) 878-8600.
Flood Warning System and Flood Mapping Information
The City of Deltona and Volusia County depend on the National Weather Service (NWS) for flood notification. The City is an active participant in the Volusia County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that has a network of advance notifications for emergencies, including advance flood advisories. The NWS will issue flood advisories prior to expected heavy rainfall that could cause flooding. The City uses Volusia County’s flood warning plan and EOC network to provide early warning to neighborhoods that might experience exceptional flooding. Other broadcast methods of emergency notices include Deltona DTVChannel 491 on the Brighthouse Government Access Channel. The City utilizes the Code RED Emergency Notification System, which allows the City to notify any geographical area, or any predetermined ‘target buildings’ via telephone, of an impending emergency. All residents and businesses must keep the City informed of current telephone numbers for the Code RED System by contacting the Volusia County Sheriff Office at (386) 736-5999. Evacuation routes include Interstate 4, Howland Boulevard, Deltona Boulevard, Doyle Road, and Ft. Smith Boulevard. You can report flooding by calling the City Public Works Department at (386) 878-8100.
Drainage System Maintenance
Local flooding can also result from the blockage of waterways and drainage facilities through the buildup of debris. Our Stormwater Division helps keep canals, ditches, and drainage inlets clear by performing periodic cleaning of waterways, stormwater conveyance lines, and City catch basins. If you know of any drainage areas blocked by debris and within a public right-of-way, please contact the Public Works Department at (386) 878-8100.
A blockage can also occur through dumping of materials. Dumping into waterways is a violation of State Law and the City’s Code of Ordinances and is behind the City-initiated effort of the ‘Think before you Throw’ campaign. Please contact the City Enforcement Services Division for questions at (386) 878-8700 or to report a violation, contact the Volusia County Sheriff Office at (386) 736-5999.
Flood Safety Checklist
WELL BEFORE A STORM EVENT:
- Tree pruning and trimming may lessen the possibility of uprooting.
JUST BEFORE A STORM EVENT:
- Stock up on drinking water (at least one quart per person per day) and nonperishable food supplies.
- Relocate furniture/appliances off the floor.
- Pick up all loose debris and objects around your home. Bring exterior furniture and potted plants, etc. indoors.
- Turn the refrigerator to the coldest setting.
- Place your valuables in watertight containers.
- Check on the elderly, disabled, or others who may need assistance.
- Turn off all utilities at the main switch.
DURING A STORM EVENT:
- Confine your pets to an area that is not flooded. For information on where to board your pets, visit Volusia County's Website.
- Watch where you're stepping in flooded structures because unseen debris could cause injury and always wear closed-toe shoes.
- Stay indoors until the official "all clear" is given by the County or City.
Additional Disaster Information
Each year the Lyonia Preserve Library features a special display of disaster preparedness material. They also have an extensive selection of both reference and handout material available year round. Topics include flood insurance, flood protection, hurricane preparedness, floodplain management, and flood maps. Several items are available in Spanish, as well as English. To obtain this valuable information, visit the Emergency Management section of Volusia County’s Website or visit FEMA's Website.
Severe Storm or Flood Warnings
Major local radio stations such as 90.7 FM and local television stations, such as Channels 2, 6, 9, 13, or 35, broadcast severe weather warnings. In the event of a hurricane, advisories are given every six (6) hours. Intermediate or special advisories are given every three (3) hours. For the latest weather information, visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Website.
Flood Insurance Rate Zone Definitions
- Zone A – Flood insurance rate zone subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event generally determined using approximate methodologies. Because detailed hydraulic analysis has not been performed, no base flood elevations (BFE) or flood depths are shown. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
- Zone AE – Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to flood depths greater than three (3) feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply.
- Zone X – Flood insurance rate zone that is outside of the floodplain or the average flood depths of less than one (1) foot. Flood insurance purchase is not mandatory.
Please note that copies of FEMA Elevation Certificates are available through the City of Deltona in perpetuity.
A floodplain is a lowland adjacent to a river, lake or ocean. Floodplains are designated by the frequency of the flood that is large enough to cover them. For example, the 10-year floodplain will be covered by the 10-year flood and the 100-year floodplain by the 100-year flood.
Flood frequencies, such as the "100-year flood," are determined by plotting a graph of the size of all known floods for an area and determining how often floods of a particular size occur. Another way of expressing the flood frequency is the chance of occurrence in a given year, which is the percentage of the probability of flooding each year. For example, the 100-year flood has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year.
Dams, levees, channels, stormwater projects and other protective works are designed to provide protection against some specific level of flooding. The "level of protection" is selected based on cost, the desire of the community, potential damage, environmental impact, and other factors. Engineers can design and construct levees, dams and other measures providing a very high level of protection. Communities tend to choose lower levels of protection because of the initial financial cost rather than overall costs and benefits.
The National Flood Insurance Program has established a de facto minimum standard of protection against the 100-year flood. This is a relatively low level of protection. For example, there is a 26% chance that a levee or channel designed to contain the 100-year flood will be at that design capacity at least once over a 30 year period. All residents and businesses in areas vulnerable to flooding should have flood insurance.
Homeowner insurance policies DO NOT cover damage from rising water.
There is a wide range of measures that can be used to protect against flooding. They may be grouped in various ways, such as:
- Structural and nonstructural measures.
- Whether they are most suitable for protecting: individual structures or areas containing multiple structures and communities.
- Whether their purpose is to: modify the flood or reduce susceptibility to flooding; and/or
- Reduce the impact of flooding.
Multiple measures are usually needed to provide protection to an area.
Most of the known floodplains in the U.S. have been mapped by the Flood Insurance Administration, one of the parts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These identified areas account for about 60% of flood insurance claims. The remaining 40% of the claims occur in areas not previously recognized as being vulnerable to flooding and are generally not located near a river or other water body.
The National Weather Service is responsible for warning the public of the possibility of flooding. Flood predictions generally are made at the regional "River Forecast Center". There are several different warning messages that may be issued, based on the conditions and/or probability of flooding.
Volusia County Flood Threat Recognition System
What is Floodplain Management?
Floodplain management is the operation of a community program of corrective and preventative measures for reducing flood damage. These measures take a variety of forms and generally include zoning, subdivision, or building requirements, and special-purpose floodplain ordinances (FEMA).
Why Do We Regulate the Floodplain?
To protect people and property. Floodplain management is about reducing vulnerability to flood risk to our built environment. If we know low lying land will flood from time-to-time, we should make reasonable decisions to help protect our families, homes, and businesses.
What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to protect lives and property and to reduce the financial burden of providing disaster assistance. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Nationwide, over 20,500 communities participate in the NFIP – almost 460 of Florida counties, cities and towns participate. The NFIP is based on a mutual agreement between the Federal Government and communities. Communities that participate agree to regulate floodplain development according to certain criteria and standards. That partnership involves flood hazard maps, flood insurance, and regulations. Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are used to identify flood risk, to regulate flood hazard areas and to determine where flood insurance is required. You can use your computer to visit the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. You can view current and historical flood maps online or download digital scans of maps.
Is Your Building Site Higher than the BFE?
If your land is shown on the map as “in” the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), but your building site is higher than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) you might want to get a Florida licensed professional surveyor to complete a FEMA Elevation Certificate, which helps reduce the cost of your flood insurance.
Some Flood Protection for Older Homes is Easy and Low Cost.
Move fuse boxes, water heaters, furnaces and ductwork out of areas that have a history of flooding. Never store valuables, hazards or important materials in a flood-prone area.
What About Disaster Grants and Loans?
Federal disaster grants do not cover most losses and repayment of a disaster loan can cost many times more than the cost of a flood insurance policy.
Common Acronyms –
BFE = Base Flood Elevation
EC = Elevation Certificate
FBC = Florida Building Code
FIRM = Flood Insurance Rate Map
ICC = Increased Cost of Compliance
NFIP = National Flood Insurance Program
SFHA = Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year flood plain)
We hope this has been informative and helpful. For further and updated information, please check the City’s website for periodic updates or call the City's Planning and Development Services Department at (386) 878-8600.
Visit the following links for additional information:
Disaster Preparedness Guide
Disaster Supplies Checklist
FEMA's National Flood Hazard Layer Map 2014
Volusia County's Floodplain Management Plan
Volusia County Flood Threat Recognition System
Emergency Management Section of Volusia County’s Website
Volusia County's Website
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration