Local Flood Hazard

    Flood Hazard Area

    All properties within the City of Miami Beach are located within the Special “Flood Hazard Area”. Some areas flood with a high tide and west wind. There is a 26% chance of being flooded over the life of a thirty (30) year mortgage. Properties  located within the City of Miami Beach may be vulnerable to flooding from heavy storms. Buildings built prior to 1974, “pre-firm”, and have First Finish Floor Elevation levels below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), are more vulnerable to flooding. Contact the Building Department or visit City Hall for more general information and information regarding post flood procedures and hazards.

    Flood Warning

    The City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County have warning systems. Warnings are issued on television (WFOR [4], WTVJ[6], WSVN[7] or WPLG[10]) and on radio (WIOD, 610 AM) and instructions will be provided on these stations during times of possible flooding. Flood Hazard Warnings should be broadcasted on these stations 36 hours in advance. Evacuation maps are available at City Hall.

    Special Needs Registration

    Residents that require special care and/or special transportation need to register with the Miami-Dade County Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program immediately. The number is 305-513-7700 or 305-468-5402 TDD (hearing impaired).

    Flood Safety

    Being aware of what steps to take to minimize your loss prior to a flood is the first step to safety. Here are some helpful flood safety tips:

    ● Safely turn off gas and electricity;
    ● Heed warnings from officials, evacuate when orders are given;
    ● Know evacuation zones and routes to designated shelters;
    ● Have a small bag with essentials prepared;
    ● Be cautious at night;
    ● Have battery operated flashlight, radios, and televisions in working condition;
    ● Do not walk through flooding water;
    ● Do not drive through a flooded area;
    ● Stay away from power lines and electrical wires;
    ● Call Report downed power lines to Florida Power & Light (FPL) to 1-800-4-OUTAGE;
    ● Make plans ahead of time for the pets to stay at a kennel or with friends and family in the case of evacuation; and

    Property Protection

    Moving outdoor furniture and relocating downstairs furniture to upper stories or higher locations will minimize loss. Sandbags can be used to help slow down flood water from reaching vulnerable possessions. Retrofitting is a way to minimize loss prior to floods occurring; this involves building flood walls or elevating a structure. The City of Miami Beach Building Official can provide more information and guidance to property owners regarding property protection.

    Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

    The City of Miami Beach is a part of a national network of CERT communities. The City has a program designed to help neighborhoods prepare for and respond to catastrophic disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and other major emergencies. Volunteers trained in basic disaster survival and rescue skills improve the ability of citizens to survive until responders or other assistance arrives. For more information, contact the Neighborhood Services Department at 305-673-7077.

    Flood Insurance

    Most insurance agencies can provide additional information regarding Flood Insurance. Property owners can insure buildings and building contents.  Renters can insure their possessions too. Floods are dangerous and unpredictable, preparedness for a future event is essential to community safety. Most new flood policies enforce a 30-day waiting period before the policy coverage goes into effect.

    FIRM & Flood Zone

    The Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is an essential product of the Flood Insurance Study, which shows floodplain boundaries and flood data for both floodplain management and insurance rating program. The FIRM zone designations are based on the 100-year flood. The 100-year flood is also referred to as Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The 100-year flood is used by the NFIP as the basis for insurance requirements nationwide.

    Floodplain Development Permit Requirements

    All developments including new construction, repairs and/or replacement work, additions, fill and three removals require a permit. Please contact the Building Department, at (305) 673-7610 extension 6045, should you see development without properly displayed permit.

    Substantial Improvement/Damage Requirements

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the buildings market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements as a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards (i.e. a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building value before it was damaged must be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).

    Drainage System Maintenance

    The City has a system of drainage channels and ditches for storm water management purposes. They are maintained on a regular basis by the Public Works Department. The ditches are vital since the water flowing through them not only drain our City, but also inland areas. State law prohibits dumping in the waterways. Violations should be reported to the Public Works Department at (305) 670-7000 extension 6407 or to the Police Department at (305) 673-7900.

    Natural & Beneficial Function

    State regulations protect those natural areas that help to reduce the risks associated with flooding. When portions of floodplains are preserved their natural state, they provide many benefits to both human and natural systems. These benefits range from providing aesthetic pleasure to reducing the number and severity of floods, helping handle storm-water runoff, and minimizing non-point water pollution.

    Flood Zone and Base Flood Elevation Determination

    For more information regarding flood zones and base flood elevation determination for property located in the City of Miami Beach, please contact the Building Department-Governmental Compliance Section at (305) 673-7000 extension 6165, 6817, 6797, 6117 or 6770. In addition, the Miami Beach Public Library at 227 22nd Street provides flood protection information and maintains copies of Miami Beach Flood Insurance Map (FIRM) along explanations on their use to determine flood zones and elevations.

    Flood zone information is available electronically from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and from the Miami-Dade County websites:

    FEMA or
    Miami-Dade Flood Zone Information 
    City of Miami Beach Flood Information

    Questions regard floodplain management and regulation should be directed to the  Building Department- Governmental Compliance Section at the phone numbers provided above.

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