What You Need to Know About Flood Zones When Buying in Miami

Flood zones are defined as areas that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determined to be at a higher risk of flooding or heavy rainfall – and it should come as no surprise that these zones are just about everywhere in Miami. When buying a home or property in Miami, there are some things you should know about flood zones, risk, and overall flood safety that will make your life a lot easier:

Know Your Zone

It’s crucial to find out exactly what flood zone your home falls in so you can be as prepared as possible should any unfortunate situation arise. Different flood zones correspond to different risk levels – for instance, if you live in ZONE AE, your home is in a very high flood risk area, and you will have to purchase flood insurance if you’re getting a mortgage (check out our blog on what flood zones have changed here.

Have a Plan

During the rainy season it’s imperative to have a plan for any potential flood-related emergencies. Some of the common emergency questions you should consider are:

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?
Purchase Flood Insurance

If you’re buying a house in a flood zone, chances are you will be required to purchase flood insurance if you are getting a mortgage. To put it simply, flood insurance covers any losses directly caused by flooding or flood-related erosion. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to purchase – federal flood insurance policies can be purchased directly from an insurance professional. Nearly 100 insurance companies write and service NFIP policies.

One caveat – there is a freeze on selling new insurance policies when there is a named storm that could hit Florida, so make sure you handle the purchase before hurricane season starts. 

Protect your home

If you want to go the extra mile, there are things you can do to minimize or eliminate property damage before a flood occurs. Consider grading your property, elevating/securing electrical appliances, placing all low-lying electrical fixtures on separate electrical circuits, and using flood-resistant materials on exterior surfaces.

Buying a home or property in a flood zone can be stressful and raise a lot of concerns, but we’re here to help. Get in touch today if you have any questions.