Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Know Your Risk
The current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) became effective on September 26, 2014. FIRM information can be obtained via self-service through our PascoView or Flood Viewer interactive mapping sites. View directions on using these tools (PDF).
The FIRMs are also available for viewing through:
If you need assistance with FIRM information, it can be provided by the County by contacting the Central Permitting Division. A form (PDF) has been developed to assist you with requesting floodplain management information. This form can be filled out and submitted via . There is a fee for this service depending on the information requested. The fee will be calculated and the requestor advised of the method to pay prior to the request being responded to.
Flood Insurance Study
A Flood Insurance Study (FIS) is a compilation and presentation of flood risk data for specific watercourses, lakes, and coastal flood hazard areas within a community. The latest Pasco County FIS (PDF) was effective September 26, 2014.
Each flood zone shown on the Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps describes that land area in terms of its risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone – it’s just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.
High Flood Risk
Zones designated as AE, A, AH or AO Zone. These properties have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year and a 26 percent chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
VE or V Zones. These properties also have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year and also face hazards associated with coastal storm waves.
High-risk areas are called Special Flood Hazard Areas, and flood insurance is mandatory for most federally backed mortgages.
Low or Moderate Flood Risk
Shaded X Zone. These properties are outside the high-risk zones. The risk is reduced but not removed.
X Zone. These properties are in an area of lower risk.
Lower-cost preferred rate flood insurance policies (known as Preferred Risk Policies) are often an option in these areas.
Letters of Map Change
The Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps portray the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and Floodway Boundaries within which the purchase of flood insurance is required as a condition for granting a mortgage from a federally backed or federally regulated lending institution. The lender or insurance agent must use the boundaries of the SFHAs shown on the maps to determine if mandatory insurance applies.
The general lack of detailed topographic mapping throughout the nation means that the floodplain boundaries in most communities cannot be mapped with 100% accuracy. Many areas of high ground are shown as floodplain and some low areas are not.
Therefore, FEMA created the Letter of Map Change process to correct or change the flood maps to reflect actual ground surveys or better topographic mapping. Letters are issued by FEMA officially removing lots or portions of lots from the SFHA. These are sent to the homeowner and also filed with the County.
When a LOMC is issued removing a building from the SFHA, the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement is lifted. However, the lender has the option of requiring flood insurance anyway. For example, the home site might be just a few inches above the BFE, so the lender feels that there may still be a threat of flood damage to their secured property. On the plus side, once the SFHA designation has been changed, the building qualifies for a preferred risk policy, the least expensive flood insurance available.
Application fees are required. Applications are available on-line or you can contact FEMA at 770-220-5400.