What the Flood Maps Mean to You

The flood zones can guide your rebuilding. They may determine whether you can rebuild, whether you can get certain kinds of assistance, and whether you will need to elevate your home. Following a disaster, FEMA may revise flood maps. Be sure to reference the most recent flood map and insurance requirements before taking steps to rebuild or repair your home. For more information, visit http://rfcd.pima.gov/dfirm/pdfs/femafaq.pdf.

Damaged Structures At or Above Flood Elevation:

If your home is at or above the required flood elevation based on a flood zone map or a certified elevation survey, you can immediately begin to repair or rebuild, regardless of how much damage your home received. Low-interest SBA loans are available from FEMA based on the actual cost of repairing or rebuilding a flood-damaged home and personal property, minus any insurance reimbursement.

Current loan limits are:

  • Homeowners Up to $200,000 to repair or rebuild a primary residence to its condition before the disaster.
  • Homeowners and renters  Up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles.
Damaged Structures Below Flood Elevation:

If your home flooded and you are not at the required flood elevation based on flood zone or a certified elevation survey, your home could fall into one of two categories:

  • Minor damage  If the structure sustained flooding, but was not substantially damaged, repairs can be made simply by getting the necessary permits over the counter or online. You will not need a new elevation certificate.
  • Substantially damaged  If the structure was substantially damaged (50% or more of the replacement value prior to the flood event), you will be required to elevate the building to the current flood elevation. This is for your own safety. If you carry flood insurance, contact your insurance carrier for information on deductibles and limits.

Do I Need to Elevate My Home?

If a flood damages your property, you may be required by law to bring your home up to community and/or state floodplain management standards. If you have NFIP insurance, and your home has been declared substantially damaged by your community, Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage is provided to cover up to $30,000 of the cost to elevate, flood proof, demolish, or relocate your property. ICC coverage is in addition to the coverage you receive to repair flood damages; however, the total payout on a policy may not exceed $250,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 for non-residential buildings.

For more information please visit www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-2/ increased-cost-compliance-coverage.

State assistance programs may also be available; see your state's Resource Guide in Route 4.

Caution: Environmental Issues In addition to flood conditions, you also need to be aware of the environmental problem of toxic soil that may be a result of prolonged flooding. You need to consider how these problems are dealt with in the local building codes or other requirements related to rebuilding or repairing a home.