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Miami News

Posted on: February 13, 2018

Flood Map Revision News

View west from Steve Owens


A Better Picture of Flood Hazards

Flood hazards are dynamic and can change frequently because of a variety of factors, including weather patterns, erosion, differences in lake levels and operations, as well as new development. Other factors such as sedimentation and storage capacity can change over time and influence flood hazards. FEMA, through the Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) program, works with communities to collect new or updated flood hazard data and periodically updates flood maps to reflect these changes. These new maps present a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and provide a better foundation from which to make important building and land use decisions. The City of Miami is currently going through the FEMA Risk MAP process, which is now in the Regulatory Update Phase. FEMA has issued the preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) to the City of Miami.

Newer Maps Make More Resilient Communities

These maps are important tools in the effort to help reduce risk to lives and property , as well as to understanding the beneficial functions floodplains provide. By showing the extent to which specific areas and neighborhoods, as well as individual properties, in the area are at risk for flooding, flood maps help business owners and residents make more informed financial decisions about reducing the financial risk to their property due to flooding. The maps also enable community planners, local officials, engineers, builders and others to determine where and how new structures and developments should be built, resulting in more resilient building practices. With the introduction of new flood maps, it is especially important for property owners, business owners, insurance agents, lenders, builders and real estate agents to understand what the changes are and what the effects will be.

Flood Maps Are Changing

Everyone has some level of flood risk. New flood hazard maps provide an updated picture of the risk. The level of flood risk can be different from neighborhood to neighborhood and even property to property. It is important that homeowners, renters, and business owners learn how their risk is now shown, and how it will be shown when the new flood hazard maps (Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs) become effective.

Know Your Risk

When properties are mapped into high-risk areas (shown as flood zones labeled with letters starting with "A"), construction restrictions and flood insurance requirements may apply. In these areas, known as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), property owners with a mortgage through a federally regulated or insured lender will be required to carry flood insurance once the maps become effective. Some lenders may decide to require the purchase of flood insurance in advance of the maps becoming effective. Property owners should contact their insurance agent for more information.

When a property is mapped from a high-risk zone into a moderate or low-risk zone (a zone labeled with the letter "X"), the federal mandate for flood insurance will no longer be required once the maps become effective. However, the flood risk has only been reduced; it has not been removed. Property owners can maintain coverage by converting to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP), with premiums starting as low as $129 per year. Again, property owners should discuss their options with their insurance agent.

A wide variety of information exists to help you better understand your flood risks and what you can do to decrease your risk. To learn more about flood map updates, who to contact, or where to get more information, the following resources may be of assistance.

Learn more about flood insurance at the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website:

For current effective flood maps and past (historic) flood maps, visit the Map Service Center:

To learn more about FEMA Region 6 mapping effort, visit

For more details about effects of map changes on insurance, lender requirements and other technical questions related to the flood maps (not local), contact:

FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) 1-877-FEMA-MAP
 Hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00a.m. to 5:30p.m. Central Time

To ask specific questions regarding City of Miami maps or to view the maps in person, visit or call :

Chris Randolph, CFM Floodplain Administrator City of Miami

129 5th Ave. NW (Community Development Office)


Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm

A flood hazard viewer can also been seen online at:

Copies of the maps are also available to be viewed at the Miami Public Library:

200 N. Main Miami, OK 74354


Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00am to 8:00pm

Tuesday, Friday, Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00pm Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

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Posted on: November 6, 2014