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THIS SITE IS YOUR RESOURCE FOR FLOOD AWARENESS ON MIAMI BEACH!  

Flood Awareness

Miami Beach is a coastal community. Our sunkissed island is surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. We want you to be aware of flood risk from major rain events and storm surge, but also know that Miami Beach is leading the way locally and nationally to reduce that risk.   

South Pointe Park   

Miami Beach, like much of Miami-Dade County, lies close to sea level and its underground water supply is just below the ground surface. Therefore, major rain events and King-Tides sometimes leave rainwater nowhere to drain, causing occasional flooding.

Miami Beach is investing in public infrastructure to reduce flood risk associated with rainfall, storms and sea level rise. The city is raising roads, installing Stormwater pumps, raising sea walls, and creating higher elevation standards for new and substantial improvements.  To read more about this, see Rising Above the Risk that covers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

For more information on flood protection and related topics at the national level, please visit FEMA.   

Stormwater Pump Station    

Miami Beach Stormwater Pump Station Upgrades. 

 

Protect your Property with Flood Insurance

93% of buildings in Miami Beach are located in a Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) as mapped by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Because of this; flood insurance is required for federally back mortgages, and recommended for all properties.  FEMA’s detailed digital flood hazard maps reflect current flood risks for Miami Beach. The maps, also referred to as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), illustrate flood hazards throughout the Miami-Dade County and are used when determining flood insurance policy rates.  View the Flood Zone Maps using Miami-Dade County's interactive web tool. Once you navigate to this web tool, enter your address to view the map for your area. For confirmation of your property's official flood zone designation, call 305-673-7610, or call your insurance agent.  Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damages and losses due to flooding. The City of Miami Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that makes flood insurance available to everyone in the City. We strongly urge you to buy flood insurance to protect yourself from a devastating loss.  Information about flood insurance policies should be available to you through your insurance agent. Call your insurance agent now so that you will be prepared for future events. Do not wait for a disaster. Keep in mind there is a standard 30-day waiting period, from the date of purchase, before a new flood policy goes into effect. 

 

The Adaptation Calculator

The Adaptation Calculator is an online tool to help you visualize the relationship between your property and your street by telling you if, and how many inches, the road will  be elevated  to reduce flood risk, keeping in mind there will be a gradual slope harmonizing an elevation with your private property.  This is useful to help you understand right-of-way construction while considering your own personal property needs.  http://gis.miamibeachfl.gov/calculator  

Please note that accurate user data entry is important to produce a correct report.  Please contact the City’s GIS Team at 305.673.7000 with any questions.

 

The Cost of Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program distributes letters to policy holders regarding property flood risk and how flood risk will impact what they pay for flood insurance.  For some, having an Elevation Certificate may lead to lower flood insurance costs immediately or in the future.  The following link provides letters that NFIP policyholders will be receiving each year, starting January 2017: https://www.fema.gov/cost-flood-policyholders

 

Sunset Harbour 1

Sunset Harbour during a sunny day tidal flooding event in 2013.  Note this is before the stormwater infrastructure upgrades.  

Sunset Harbour 2

Sunset Harbour after the stormwater infrastructure upgrades.    

Miami Beach Saves You Money on Flood Insurance

City of Miami Beach saves residents and businesses $6 million a year on flood insurance premiums through participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). CRS provides incentive for a community goes beyond the NFIP’s minimum requirements to reduce flood risk. The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that rewards community actions that reduce flood risk through discounted flood insurance rates. Currently, City of Miami Beach is Class 6 in CRS; as a result, the property owners in City of Miami Beach are entitled up to 20% discount on Flood Insurance Policies.  See this Fact Sheet for more information on Flood Insurance. 

Be Smart if You See Flood Waters!

Stay safe- avoid driving through or coming in contact with flood waters. Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you off your feet and less than a meter of water can float car.  Flood water can be contaminated with sewage or other pollutants.  There could also be hazards below the surface, like debris, that you cannot see.  Make sure you are tuned into Miami Beach social media and local weather alerts. Report any flooding to the city via the e-Gov app or by calling 305.604.CITY.  

Indian Creek Blvd flooding

Indian Creek Blvd flooding, prior to infrastructure upgrades.  

Keep your Home and Belongings Dry

There are many simple ways a homeowner can reduce the risk of flood damage.  Consider elevating important appliances, like washers and dryers. Choose materials such as tile flooring as opposed to wood, that are resistant to water damage.  You can also redirect rain and flood waters through techniques like elevated driveway edges. If you lease your property or business, we recommend discussing your flood protection options with your landlord or property owner. 

Build Resiliently and Know Your Elevation

If you are considering renovation, build resiliently and sustainably!   Follow the Florida Building Code and the City of Miami Beach Code to reduce your flood risk.  We suggest contacting a professional architect or engineer for advice on how to integrate resilience, sustainability, and flood protection into your design.  The city participates in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE is a financial platform that eliminates the barrier of high upfront costs by allowing property owners to pay off energy efficient and storm mitigation home improvements through an assessment on their property tax bill.

An Elevation Certificate is an important document that every homeowner should have, and in case of a disaster, would demonstrate local authorities that your house is at or above the required elevation.  An elevation certificate will not only tell you how high your house was built in relation to that flood zone but can potentially lower your insurance premiums. Miami Beach has been collecting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Elevation CertificateFederal Emergency Management pdf  that is prepared by a professional land surveyor on behalf of home builders/developers since 1995 as they are required for all new construction and substantial improvements to a structure.  Click here for a list of addresses with available elevation certificates.

If the elevation certificate shows that the lowest floor of your house is lower than the required flood design elevation, then the substantial improvement "50% rule" would apply to your house. This rule means that if your house is in a flood zone and is damaged and/or improved to an amount greater than 50% of its building market value, the lowest floor will have to be raised to meet the current elevation requirement.

Our Natural Systems Protect Us Against Floods

Dune vegetation and coral reef systems are two important elements in storm protection. These natural flood barriers serve as the first line of coastal defense by buffering wave energy, blocking storm surge, and protecting coastal infrastructure. Open green space and natural low-lying areas can help with drainage. Landscaping can be designed to flood during rain events or high tides. 

Have a plan!  South Florida can experience flooding from hurricanes and King Tides. 

Know your evacuation routes in the case of a storm, and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Keep it Clean!

Don’t litter!  Keep storm drains clear of litter and debris to prevent flooding and keep Biscayne Bay clean. Report issues to the free Miami Beach e-Gov app or call 305.604.CITY.

Financial Assistance

Relief is available for properties that have experienced damage. Learn more by contacting the Grants Office at 305.673.7510. 

Miami Beach is Here to Help

The Building Department offers free technical assistance to identify ways to reduce flood hazards. Call 305.673.7610 to learn more.  

What about sea level rise?

Miami Beach and its challenges with sea level rise are a common theme in global conversations regarding climate change. As a low lying coastal city, our geographic location and topography make us inherently vulnerable to flooding, storm surge, and other climate change impacts.  The City is working diligently to convert these challenges into opportunities, starting with adaptation initiatives such as the installation of pump stations, rising of roads, and other innovative drainage improvements that are informed by the latest scientific data provided by the Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact. 

It is important to note that any personal property improvements to reduce flood risk will also reduce risk in the future as sea levels continue to rise. 

More information on the Unified Sea Level Rise Projection can be found at: http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/  

Are you a real estate agent?

The City of Miami Beach has developed an informational fact sheet for you to share with prospective property owners.  The fact sheet highlights information about flood risk and flood insurance, along with resources to reduce personal risk and how the city is reducing risk through public infrastructure improvements.  

Helpful websites and links:

FEMA: www.fema.gov

MDC-Flood Zone Determination: http://gisweb.miamidade.gov/floodzone/

SFWMD- Real Time Rain Data: https://www.sfwmd.gov/weather-radar/rainfall-historical/daily

NOAA-Real Time Biscayne Bay Tides Data: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaatidepredictions.html?id=8723165

MDC-Storm Surge Planning Zone & Map: http://www.miamidade.gov/fire/storm-surge.asp

Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact: www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org

National Flood Insurance Program: www.floodsmarts.gov

Ready: www.ready.gov

American Red Cross: www.redcross.org

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety: http://disastersafety.org/flood 

Florida Division of Emergency Management: http://www.floridadisaster.org/Mitigation/SFMP/Index.htm  

Flood Protection Resource Publications:   

Below you will find links to copies of  FEMA publications on flood protection. This documents are also available at Miami Beach and County Public Library branches. 

1.  Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House, FEMA-347, 2000

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1443-20490-3026/fema347cvr_toc.pdf  

2. Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program, F-084, 2011

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1438-20490-1905/f084_atq_11aug11.pdf  

3. Coastal Construction Manual, FEMA-P-55, 2011 

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1510-20490-6719/fema55_volii_frontmatter.pdf  

4. Elevated Residential Structures, FEMA-54, 1984 

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1509-20490-6744/fema54.pdf  

5. Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards, FEMA P-85, 2009

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1501-20490-6993/a_fema_p85_cvr_toc.pdf  

6. Mitigation of Flood and Erosion Damage to Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas, FEMA-257, 1994

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1505-20490-8508/fema257.pdf  

7. Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage, FEMA P-348, 1999

 https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/3729

8. Protecting Floodplain Resources, FEMA-268, 1996

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1440-20490-5918/fema268.pdf  

9. Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding, FEMA 511, 2005

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1446-20490-0539/FEMA511-complete.pdf 

10. Openings in foundation walls for buildings located in special flood hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1502-20490-9949/fema_tb_1__1_.pdf 

11. Answers to questions about substantially damaged buildings.      

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/2969  

12. FEMA 15, Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction (1981)

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/2850  

13. Reducing Losses in High Risk Flood Hazard Areas

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/1619  

14. Non-residential floodproofing : requirements and certification for buildings located in special flood hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1511-20490-5294/job6.pdf  

15. Free-of-obstruction requirements for buildings located in coastal high hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1511-20490-9526/fema_tb_5.pdf  

16. Flood-resistant materials requirements for buildings located in special flood hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1502-20490-4764/fema_tb_2_rev1.pdf  

17. Homeowner's guide to retrofitting : six ways to protect your house from flooding.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1404148604102-f210b5e43aba0fb393443fe7ae9cd953/FEMA_P-312.pdf  

18. Home builder's guide to coastal construction technical fact sheet series.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1538-20490-2983/fema499web_2.pdf  

19. Below-grade parking requirements for buildings located in special flood hazard areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1511-20490-1163/job12.pdf  

20. Youth preparedness : guide to risk management for youth preparedness programs.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1414435038732-5277640eec6719c2be778c98034c559f/FEMA_ICPD_Youth_Preparedness_Guide_to_Risk_Management_Final_V25_1.pdf