Flood map amendments will remove some properties in unincorporated areas of Collier County and the city of Naples from high-risk areas of flooding shown on new maps
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with local officials, has initiated a cost-effective process to issue map amendments, called full panel Letters of Map Amendments (LOMAs), that will remove approximately 10,000 properties in the unincorporated areas of Collier County, and approximately 20 properties in Naples, from the high-risk areas of flooding shown on new Collier County, Fla. flood insurance rate maps.
These maps, which became effective on May 16, 2012, were produced through the cooperative efforts of Collier County and FEMA. Flood maps show the extent to which areas are at risk of flooding, and they’re used to help determine flood insurance requirements.
Flood maps can be amended at any time, even after they become effective, to incorporate updated data. Because the most recent elevation data was not included in its entirety when preparing the maps that just went into effect, amendments will made to remove some properties shown in the high-risk areas of flooding. These areas are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). These map amendments apply to some properties in the unincorporated areas of Collier County and the city of Naples. They do not apply to properties in Everglades City or the city of Marco Island.
By removing properties from high-risk areas of flooding on flood insurance rate maps, this also removes the Federal mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement for those properties. However, a mortgage lender, as a condition of the mortgage loan, may require the purchase of flood insurance in any flood zone.
FEMA typically evaluates LOMA applications individually after they are submitted. This is the first time that FEMA has undertaken this initiative to issue full panel LOMAs. This new process minimizes the financial burden for affected property owners, while reducing the burden on the general taxpayer. These map amendments will provide property owners and community officials with the most accurate flood hazard and risk information possible.
On June 14, 2012 map amendment documents will be available through the Collier County Land Development Services website and through theFEMA Map Information eXchange website. Residents who may be affected are encouraged to visit these websites, or call the Collier County Floodplain Hotline at (239) 252-2942 to find out if their property will be removed from the SFHAs shown on the new maps.
Collier County residents who are not affected by these amendments but feel their property is incorrectly depicted on the new flood maps may also request a LOMA through the standard LOMA application process. Application forms and instructions on how to submit a LOMA application can be found at the FEMA website.
By law, federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Even people living outside of high-risk areas can experience flooding, which is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. That’s why everyone, regardless of their flood zone, should take steps to financially protect themselves from a disaster which affects far too many communities each year. The primary way to do that is by purchasing flood insurance. It’s available at affordable rates through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a voluntary program administered by FEMA. Visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information about flood insurance.