Elevation certificates (EC) are necessary when your home or business is in a high flood risk area. Your insurance agent uses the data from an elevation certificate to determine your flood insurance premium. FEMA provides a clear and detailed summary of who needs elevation certificates and why here: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/32330 If the data collected for an EC shows that your home is above Base Flood Elevation (meaning that there is a 1% or less chance that floodwaters will reach this elevation in a given year), it may be appropriate to apply for a Letter of Map Amendment. A LOMA is issued when a property “has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above base flood elevation.”
An Executive Order has been issued that is very important information for anyone working in the Special Flood Hazard Area. It takes future conditions into account and requires Design Elevations for lowest floors to be 2 feet above BFE for standard construction and 3 feet above BFE for critical facilities, or construction to the 500 year / 0.2%. Implementation of this new standard will not occur until the end of the 60-day public input period and agencies have been able to update their standards and regulations, which will also trigger public comment periods.
For Average Joes,
Fighting FEMA Flood Maps Isn’t Easy or Cheap
Florida agency selling private flood insurance said it is now selling the coverage in 15 states and making it available to commercial risks and apartment buildings.
The effort to delay huge increases in insurance premiums for homeowners in flood-prone areas faces a skeptical House chairman who is largely standing behind the changes Congress oversaw in the nation’s flood insurance program less than two years ago.
In a vote on January 30th, 2014, the senate passed a bill that will delay flood insurance hikes for at least four years.
Finally an alternative in flood insurance for Connecticut
A private flood insurer has stepped into Connecticut’s market, the first time homeowners along the shoreline battered by Superstorm Sandy have an alternative to increasingly costly federal insurance.
Damage sustained by a town in Fairfield county after Hurricane Sandy. Image courtesy of Michael McAndrews, a photgrapher for the “The Courant“.